physical skim reading

Physical Skim Reading

1 minute, 33 seconds video


Digital recording of British Sign Language (silent vox pop)

"Skimming to save time" a refrain from my childhood teachers.

"Skimming" defined as reading rapidly in order to get a general overview of the material. "Scanning" defined as reading rapidly in order to find specific facts. 

As a Dyslexic perosn I'm interested in the idea of physical or visual skim reading. What does it mean to non-verbally skim/scan? Can we express ideas through multi-channel signs more effectively than through verbal or written language? In an ocular centric society, why not physically skim or retell a story through the body?

I have always internally pronounced the words in a text when silently reading. I've learn that this process of inaudibly articulating the words internally with your speech organs is called subvocalisation. Some people also move their lips and their throat muscles when they read. Is there a link between subvocalisation and lip reading? 


This work was shown as part of 30/30, a remote month long residency for artists curated by 12ø Collective. The aim of the residency is to encourage artists around the world to make, experiment, test what you think you know about your practice, and share works in progress online.


2023 Artist Support Scheme funds from Galway County Council has provided me with the time and resources to think, research, reflect and critically engage with my practice including this revisiting Physical Skim Reading. Collaborating with a dancer to explore a new physical vocabulary has reopened research into non-verbal communication in particular sign langauges, dyslexia and the cross overs between subvocalisation and lip reading.

© Bryony Hussey 2024