An Exercise in Close Reading, Listening and Tasting


An Exercise in Close Reading, Listening and Tasting.
Saturday 30 January, 1–6pm

ESP members joined us for an evening of storytelling, reading, listening and tasting with curator and researcher Alexandra Ross. This was our first step towards Write Club, a new ESP initiative dedicated to language and writing.

The workshop consisted in an exploration into the framing devices and structures which operate when dealing with the spoken and written word. Topics under discussion included the ethics of recording, the presentation of the voice isolated from the vessel/speaker, and text when decontextualised from its author.

As an extension of this discussion about the preconceptions and practices of reading and listening, this invitation to partake in close reading and close listening further invited participants to join us for a close tasting session. Each participant brought ingredients or full dishes charged with personal meaning to the table to share with the group.

The texts all related to the concepts of hospitality and conviviality. The audio excerpts explored the framing of the voice. Participants were invited to introduce a 2-5 minute selection of audio to present to the group.

Originally from Scotland, Alexandra Ross’ practice and research largely locates itself in the interstitial spaces of artistic and curatorial activity. She is currently Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Centre for Curating the Archive (CCA), Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town. Her research at CCA explores the conversational processes at play within contemporary art practice as they relate to the object housed in the museum archive. She read an honours law degree, followed by a Masters in Museum and Gallery Studies, a Master of Fine Art and a PhD in Curatorial Practice.