The Slow Read

Ready, Get Set…Slow Read

Q: What is the opposite of a book club on steroids?

A: Reading Willa Cather’s novel ‘My Ántonia’ at the slow pace of six pages per day.

SlowReadWhat is the Slow Read?

The Slow Read is a public literary / art project conceived of and produced by Portland-based artist Barbara Tetenbaum. “After taking a workshop on video mapping, I had this vision of projecting the pages of a novel onto the wall of a building, so people would read together in public. The project has now grow to nearly a dozen public sites and can be accessed by anyone on their personal computers. This means that everyone in America and beyond can essentially read as a community,” says Tetenbaum. “This year is the centenary of a book I’ve been working with for some time, ‘My Ántonia’ by Willa Cather. It made perfect sense to use this particular novel for the Slow Read and a chance to find a deeper connection to her words and the issues Cather was illuminating which are still relevant today. Some readers will stumble upon this novel for the first time, others will be rereading it again, discovering something new in her story. I want to offer a piece of culture in the form of shared daily ritual, to be experienced slowly over time, providing a counterweight to the spectacle-based world we live in.”

During this centenary year of My Ántonia’s publication, readers around the country and the globe can follow along on their cell phones, laptops — or at a public site location – and read closer and deeper than before. From May 30 through August 11th, images of the first edition page spreads will be looped on a dedicated website (www.slowread.org) and offer the first-time reader, or long-time fan, this unusual, slow unfolding of the novel.

Why?

“Cather shows us what it was like to live on the 1890’s Nebraska prairie, a life that was tough and beautiful at the same time.” says Tetenbaum, “Cather herself grew up in Red Cloud around immigrants from Central Europe and Russia. ‘My Ántonia’ reads as a chronicle to their humanity and struggles during the formative years of the American Plains. The immigrant experience is particularly relevant in our current political climate, and perhaps there is a way to find a meaningful dialog through Cather’s story.”

Where?

Public venues such as libraries and museums are hosting the Slow Read, usually through a publicly-accessible video monitor. {At Constellation Studios, 2055 ‘O’ Street, the monitor faces the street and is best viewed in the evening, and runs 24 hours with new page selection added each morning} Individuals who don’t have access to these sites can read along on their own internet-connected devices by going to www.slowread.org and clicking the “Today’s Reading” button.

Barb Tetenbaum will be taking the project on the road in early June to show at outdoor sites. Go to the website blog to find the next screening: https://theslowread.squarespace.com/news/

constellation slow read_sm

When?

The broadcast begins on May 30th and ends on August 11, 2018. If you miss a day, the website has an archive of previously shown pages.

Want to participate?

The Slow Read web-stream is free and available at www.theslowread.org

What else is there?

The Slow Read website links to activities, discussions, exhibitions and lectures organized by Cather institutions and scholars. It also contains a visual concordance of images from eight years of personal artist projects connected to this novel. Explore the website for all this.

Where can I find the public Slow Read venues?

Currently, these sites are hosting the Slow Read:

Willa Cather Foundation in Red Cloud, NE     willacather.org

Love Library at Univ. of NE-Lincoln   https://libraries.unl.edu

Constellation Studios, Lincoln, NE   https://constellation-studios.net

Jaffrey Public Library, Jaffrey, NH   www.jaffreypubliclibrary.org

Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR   ocac.edu

Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR   pica.org

Pacific Northwest College of Art Library, Portland, OR pnca.edu

Working Library, Portland, OR c3initiative.org/working-library.htm

Union College in Lincoln, NE

Check www.slowread.org/abouttheproject to explore additional locations as they are added and to track The Slow Read mobile pop-up on the road.

About the artist/director of The Slow Read:

Barbara Tetenbaum is a visual artist interested in the act of reading. She uses the mediums of books, prints, installation, and animation to explore this subject matter. She founded her artist book imprint, Triangular Press, in 1979. Barb is the recipient of two Fulbright Fellowships, career and project awards from the Oregon Arts Commission, Ford Family Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation and the Regional Arts and Culture Council. She is currently Professor and Head of the Book + Print at the Oregon College of Art and Craft. She holds a B.S. (Fine Art) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Apply for a Residency

Artists are invited to propose a short-term residency of 2 weeks–4 weeks. Residencies are self-funded by the artists who pay studio fees (see fee list). Shared housing is available as scheduling permits. Artists will work independently and design their program with the assistance of the director. Send brief information, objectives, references and contact information by email or post. Do not include original samples and materials will not be returned. Submissions will be reviewed ongoing, and you will be contacted if we are interested.


Internship Opening

Studio and Arts Management internships provide young artists with the opportunity to learn and work along with director, visiting artists, artist associates in the development of creative projects, gallery exhibitions, and an arts business. Internships are unpaid, available for credit or non-credit, 3 months–6 months. Expected hours are 8-10 hours week, with studio access for your own work at other times. Send brief information, objectives, references and contact information by email or post. Do not include original samples and materials will not be returned. Submissions will be reviewed ongoing, and you will be contacted if we are interested.

Download Internship Program PDF

To Apply
Name, address and contact info
Statement on education, qualities, skills, personal biography, life objectives
Availability
References with name & contact info


Call For Submissions

We are open for proposals for collaborative projects, exhibitions, print publishing, workshop courses, WallWorks temporary outdoor street art. Send brief information, objectives, references and contact information by email or post. Do not include original samples and materials will not be returned. Submissions will be reviewed ongoing, and you will be contacted if we are interested.