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Build the Reading Machine!

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Oxfordshire County Library

Queen Street

Westgate

OX1 1DJ

United Kingdom

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In 1931, the American Surrealist writer Bob Brown invented a reading machine . The device produced a form of machine-assisted speed reading, in which micrographically-printed text would scroll under a magnification screen in a single, streaming line. Where cinema gave the world the ‘talkies’, Brown offered ‘the readies’, and important writers like Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams helped him demonstrate its potential. However, Brown’s reading machine never went into production, and even though he is gaining popularity as the ‘godfather of the e-reader’, some people still doubt whether Brown’s machine actually worked.

But now, the Avant-Gardes and Speculative Technology (AGAST) Project at Oxford Brookes University have teamed up with Makerspace Oxford at Oxfordshire County Library, the Ashmolean Museum, and East Oxford Fabricators to reconstruct his prototype!

In a series of community workshops, we’re inviting teens aged 12-18 to help us build reading machines and write about the ‘future of reading’ in Oxford. Completed prototypes will be exhibited with other AGAST reading machine projects at a lecture by Dr. Eric White on 31 August 2018, 6.30pm, at the Ashmolean Museum. So sign up and help us discover the future of reading by reconstructing technology from the past!

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Oxfordshire County Library

Queen Street

Westgate

OX1 1DJ

United Kingdom

View Map

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