2nd Reading: Chandler Green by Mark Leahy

The magician reveals the workings of the trick, showing how the cards are set, and how the spiel serves to create a screen, a dazzle that draws attention away from the manipulation. She, laughing, speaks through shining white teeth out into the golden glow, a sunset song, of happy noise.


Here is a network of connecting and communicating strips, tubes and lines coded in different colours, red, green, white, and black (descending in importance and scale). And this circling diagram describes a leaving and return, (round the world as fast as can be), conveying information from A to B through the spin of L and the twin plates of C. A system of hammers, levers and springs manages the on off, in out, channelling of data, of the message sounds that distinguish signals from their background.


The machine can be turned to many uses, its complex series of gears and joints and handles offering varied engagements. Wheels whirr and fans rotate in a bank, double-wardrobe sized, that carries sonic data on metallic strips for replay. Holding within the machinery of incremented vocal reproduction, an elaborate veneered box adds nothing to the doubled speaking but a faux history with Latin embellishment.


Mapping a dispersal, radiating, rippling outward in a scatter, out over a coded lattice marked for place and direction, he confirms the confidence and ease of transmission. Gesturing toward his handiwork, and beyond to the spindly structure, of wire and string and paper that will fly with the news, the other one already lifting skyward, its open net of struts and surfaces, of angles and little wheels, and she waves a handkerchief to signal all is well; departure is imminent.



MARK LEAHY is a writer and artist operating among textual practices and live art. In recent performances he has performed vocalisations of material fed to him via headphones, generated live using chance operations on text data. Works include ‘his voice’ (commissioned by Counter Plymouth Art Book Fair, Oct 2015), ‘flat-head self-tapping’ at Chelsea School of Art (May 2015) and ‘answering machine’ for Experimentica14 at Chapter Cardiff (Nov 2014). He has been commissioned to write texts to accompany work by artists including Nathan Walker, Katy Connor, Steven Paige, and Low Profile. His critical publications include essays in Open Letter, Performance Research Journal and The Journal of Writing in Creative Practice; a chapter in The Blackwell Companion to Digital Literary Studies (2007); an essay in The Salt Companion to John James (2010), and a chapter in The Life and Work of Thomas MacGreevy: A Critical Reappraisal (2013). markleahy.net 


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