Site-Reading – Site Specific Writing and Reading
initiated by Emma Cocker and Lena Séraphin

“For phenomenologist, Max van Manen, the term textorium refers to a “virtual space that the words open up […] The physical space of reading or writing allows me to pass through it into the world opened up by the words, the space of the text“. Struck by his account of the textorium and the ‘virtual space’ that opens for the writer-reader, we wondered if our own experimental practices could generate insights into the experiential textorium encountered through reading?“



“The image is this:

Properly written texts are like spiders’ webs: tight, concentric, transparent, well-spun and firm. They draw into themselves all the creatures of the air. Metaphors flitting hastily through them become their nourishing prey. Subject matter comes winging towards them. [Adorno, Minima Moralia]

At one level, there is a cliché at work in this passage: etymology informs us that text (thus also texture and textile) derives from the Latin textum: a web. Which means, as Adorno puts it, that the text has a power of attraction, that it holds all it captures in a delicate, murderous tension. But we mean something else too when we say that a well constructed text is like a web – we mean that it may be filled with all manner of heterogeneous matter, it’s a container for all airborne things, and its maker must wait vigilantly for the right prey to happen along. The web is a means, a process, a tool, not a finished work.“

Brian Dillon: Essayism (p.72)