Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

The Reading Machine Launch

This event has now finished. Please see our events website for details of upcoming events at Brookes.


Who this event is for

  • Everyone


Special Collections, JHBB Library, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane site


Registration is now open for the launch of the Oxford Brookes-based Avant-Gardes and Speculative Technology (AGAST) Project's 'Reading Machine', which re-imagines an invention by the modernist poet Bob Brown using Augmented Reality. The event will feature a presentation by Professor Craig Saper of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, a reading by the acclaimed British author Iain Sinclair, who has produced specially-commissioned texts for our Machine, and animations by AGAST co-founder John Twycross.

The Reading Machine launch will take place at Oxford Brookes' Special Collections Archive in the John Henry Brookes building on Tuesday 24 January at 5pm. The Special Collections room is in the basement of the Main Library. The event is free to attend but due to significant interest registration is required.

Please email Eric White as soon as possible to register your place. Registration closes 20 January 2017.

This AGAST installation is an augmented reality version of a 1930 Reading Machine invented by the American modernist writer and publisher Bob Brown, an optical poet and 'grandfather of the e-book'. Previously forgotten by literary history, Brown has been rediscovered by scholars of modernism and media theory interested in his visionary reading machine and 'the readies' that he designed for the device - a medium which Brown hoped would become as ubiquitous as the 'talkies' in cinema.

Professor Craig Saper is the world authority on Bob Brown and has played a major role in bringing Brown's innovative poetry back into print. Iain Sinclair's texts re-imagine the readies by exploring the appropriation of public spaces in Oxford and London using Augmented Reality, a technology that blends real-world environments and digital animations in real time.

The event coincides with the Augmented Reality Winter School hosted by Dr. Fridolin Wild, Director of Brookes' new Performance Augmentation Lab (PAL. The event is sponsored by the HSS Faculty, Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre, and PAL.

Further information about the AGAST project is available on the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre website.