Interspecies Efforts at Close Reading
In 2021, while being interviewed for a story in Art in America, the writer mentioned a paper by Jane Gallop entitled “The Ethics of Reading: Close Encounters” (2000). After the interview, I printed the essay from my home Xerox machine and set it aside. A few days later, while going through my weekly readings, I noticed a smashed bug! It seems that it crawled into my printer and became part of the text itself. A new composition emerged: a smashed bug whose expelled bits and wildly distributed printer toner obscure the original text. With this highly textured new text, we are reminded that a text is never finished. The substrate, the paper, can hold annotations, emendations, evolving textures, and glitches.