Research Processes and Poisonous Oysters with artist Anna Barham

26 September 2019, 16:00–21:00

British artist Anna Barham has worked with Index throughout 2019 as the first artist in the Research Processes, a series of residencies started at Index in 2019. Barham works with and beyond language, with text, readings, videos and situations. Linguistics and performativity have been the starting point for investigations and exchange between the artist and Index.

A workshop and a book release of her new book, Poisonous Oysters, on Thursday 26th September will be a chance to continue this conversation with audiences.

Index Research Processes is a program thought of as a tool to define other temporalities and to, in collaboration with artists, establish ways of investigation operating beyond a starting plan or objective.

OPEN CALL for readers:

Live Production Reading Group, Thursday 26th Sept, 16:00-18:30
Calling artists, writers, dancers, curators and those interested in the embodied production of text and language. You will be part of Barham’s ongoing development of a Live Production Reading Group in which new text is generated through collective reading and speech2text software.

Participants will take turns to read prepared texts aloud that are interpreted by the speech2text software and re-introduced to the circle. Each reading is a re-authoring of the text – the computer output is unpunctuated so the reader must choose how to break it up, to find places to breathe, to deal with a breakdown in syntax, as well as choosing how to intonate, what feeling to inflect etc. Meaning ebbs, flows and sediments in the collective listening of the group.
The work is an act of resistance to the flattening and standardising tendency of contemporary linguistic technologies and uses them against themselves to return language to bodies and the particular qualities of each singular reading as a generative process.
There will be several interludes during the reading group for discussion and breaks, and to allow readers to swap in and out of the circle.
Please book a place by emailing

Book launch
Poisonous Oysters
edition 100
25 × 28cm, 96 pages with acetate inserts, spiral bound

The material in Poisonous Oysters was generated during a live production reading group held in Newcastle University’s Fine Art Department on 26.01.18. Passages from the texts listed below were read aloud by the participants and interpreted by speech recognition software over and over, creating a poly-vocal feedback loop with the machine. The output is rewritten here as a score, flattening the time of the event and aligning the different versions of the texts to reveal the sound mutations between them:

Precarious Life, Judith Butler
The Waves, Virginia Woolf
Vampyroteuthis Infernalis, Vilém Flusser
Body Pressure, Bruce Nauman
Testo Junkie, Beatriz Preciado
The Politics of Translation, Gayatri Spivak
Creating trance and hypnosis scripts, Gemma Bailey
Untitled document, John Latham

No RSVP needed for the book launch, all welcome.