Read-in – Crawling out from hibernation

A gathering within the framework of Read-in collective’s library residency at Casco, led by artist Dung Nguyen
Monday, 20 May, 10:30 (internal) + 15:00 (door-to-door, public event) / Casco HQ

The sun is emerging once again after its long, long hibernation, and so is Read-in. The slumbering collective is stirring, crawling out and stretching its manifold tentacles, squinting into the sunlight. As part of Read-in collective’s residency at the Casco Art Institute library under the guidance of Dung Nguyen, members from around the globe are gathering in Utrecht. Through her slow-burn, learning-by-doing residency, Dung continues her study on reenacting slumbering practices, transdisciplinary archiving, and organizing.

The gathering starts with The Bookshelf Research, taking place on Monday, 20 May at 10:30. Members of Read-in will revisit the Casco library, focusing on skill sharing and reconsiderations following Read-in’s intervention in the Grand Domestic Revolution project collection of 2013–14. The Bookshelf Research incorporates extensive research using Feminist Search Tools, a method involving counting exercises in specific libraries and bookshelves, categorizing by gender, nationality, and materiality to analyze inclusions and omissions. Inspired by Guerrilla Girls’ approach, Read-in applies this method to investigate the intersection of books, shelves, and thoughts in everyday life, using “strategic essentialism” to challenge hierarchies of knowledge and promote political agency. This concept, coined by post-colonial and feminist literary scholar Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, acknowledges the problematics of essentialism at play in identity claims while temporarily endorsing these essentialisms to enable political agency and consolidate resistance. In this case, Read-in is particularly interested in countering the open secret of the hierarchies of knowledge that inhabit our bookshelves and reading practices in the West.

Later in the afternoon, at 15:00, they continue with the collective’s trusted door-to-door format. This initiative involves literally going door-to-door and requesting ‘neighbors’ to host a group reading session spontaneously. These reading sessions constitute Read-in’s first experiments to challenge conventional reading practices. Searching for a spontaneous host for an instant reading session challenges notions of hospitality, the relationship to public and private realms, and where reading together should take place. It leverages the discomfort of the situation to investigate how conventional reading practices often overlook physicality. What happens when one is constantly reminded that something is at odds while reading together?

This activity is part of:

Casco Art Institute: Working for the Commons library activations.

Explore more activities

Name Surname


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

External link