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distracted-reader is a new publication series that seeks readerly parkour through selected terrain of art and design. We see rhythmised literacies of image, text, and concept. distracted-reader does thinking as making, and print design as speculative thought. With general art monographs as coffee-table artefacts, and university presses not funding conjecture, distracted-reader notes accented sequencing. Less clarion call to a vanishing new, more through-lines with incidents and discernible increments; writing and thinking as marked-up copy; stuttered narration; material views.
distracted-reader #1 Mixtures: Xin Cheng and Allan Smith. 156 pages with drawings, photographs and texts by Xin Cheng, and drawings, photographs and texts by Allan Smith. The title Mixtures comes from a 2011 Xin Cheng exhibition; in this publication Cheng mixes memories of a Chinese childhood with recipes for healthy eating, photographed pages of anthropology texts showing Mongolian Yurts, and knitted socks from Scandinavia, images of ingenious low-tech merchandising stands in Cambodia, drawings of stone walls, and a bread igloo. Smith writes about the copiousness and fabricational inventiveness of Cheng’s practice, and about the accumulative materiality in the collages and architectural practice of ex-pat architect M.K. Smith. Allan Smith’s ‘un-illustrations’ set old school ink drawing and comic-book sequencing to work on the textured ‘push and pressure’ of a densely textured world.
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