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THE MIRACLE METHODS SERIES: Distance Readers (2012) and A Luminous Reader (2011)

THE MIRACLE METHODS SERIES is a host for episodes that consider the nature of the game and the forecast.

The latest incarnation Distance Readers comprises four silent moving-images. At the centre of each 'Reader is a game where four winds – East, South, West, and North - are indicated as players and oracles. They are protagonists within a speculative fiction, in which their playing pre-empts spaces beyond, predicting the future in a series of present events. A 'distance reader' is also a term used within the context of card-sharping and the act of marking cards to cheat, where it is the defocusing of the eyes to spot fluid residue on an opponent’s distant cards. The 'readers' here are regular players in a Mah Jong group in Weymouth, in whose sessions I participated over a research period of 5 months. The work was first broadcast as an intervention between adverts and travel-updates on council information screens, and embedded into Olympic programmes on BBC screens, installed on the beach in Weymouth.

In October 2011, A Luminous Reader was performed for Lucky PDF television, as part of Frieze Projects. The narrator was there to show and instruct on the use of misdirection and diversion, as aids in concealing the modus operandi of the feat, the vital sleight or subtlety employed. The narrator became part of a composite image where the spaces in which he appeared slid across each other like shuffling a pack of cards.


THE MIRACLE METHODS SERIES: Distance Readers (2012), 1 - 2min per episode, HD, colour, silent. The work was commissioned by b-side festival, 2012, and has been subsequently screened at cinemas and galleries as part of __Selected III__, curated by FLAMIN and Videoclub with recent Jarman Award nominees, including a tour in the USA in 2014 to Seattle International Film Festival; North West Film Center, Portland; Balagan Films, Boston; Anthology Film Archives, New York; LA Film Forum, Los Angeles; and in the UK in 2013 at Nottingham Contemporary; FACT Liverpool; CCA Glasgow; and the Whitechapel, London. Artists screened included Emma Alonze, Sophie Beresford, Nicholas Brooks, Mat Fleming, Piotr Krzymowski, Naheed Raza, Frances Scott, Daniel Shanken, Cheryl Simmons and Edward Thomasson. It was shown again in February 2015 as part of __The Methadone Metronome__ film programme at Video Space, MK Gallery, curated by renaro with artists Guy Ben-Ner, Oliver Laric, The Otolith Group, Frances Scott, Mariana Silva and Pedro Neves Marques (Inhabitants). Images 1 - 4: documentation from Distance Readers, b-side, Portland and Weymouth 2012. The Players: Diane Allan, Jenni Fleming, Susan Fuller, Yvonne Wilcox The Dreamer: Tim Spooner Camera: Lucy Cash, Frances Scott, Duncan Whitley Editing: Lucy Cash, Frances Scott With thanks to: The U3A Mah Jong Group, Weymouth; R. Paveley Tailors, Fortuneswell, Portland; Larry Walker and Trinity House, Portland Bill Lighthouse; Fossil Beach, St. Mary Street, Weymouth; Sea View Chinese Restaurant, Weymouth; and Charles Carter, Dorset County Council.

THE MIRACLE METHODS SERIES: A Luminous Reader (2011), 5 minutes, performance and broadcast. Images 5 - 6: stills from A Luminous Reader, Lucky PDF Frieze projects 2011. Narrator: Tim Spooner