Sentences on Conceptual Reading
Michalis Pichler

1.    Conceptual readers are mystics rather than rationalists. They leap to conclusions that logic cannot reach. 
2.    Rational judgements repeat rational judgements. 
3.    Irrational judgements lead to new experience. 
4.    Formal reading is essentially rational. 
5.    Irrational thoughts should be followed absolutely and logically. 
6.    If the reader changes his/her mind midway through the execution of the piece he/she compromises the result and repeats past results. 
7.    The reader's will is secondary to the process he/she initiates from idea to completion. His/Her wilfulness may only be ego. 
8.    When words such as decoding and comprehension are used, they connote a whole tradition and imply a consequent acceptance of this tradition, thus placing limitations on the reader who would be reluctant to make reading that goes beyond the limitations. 
9.    The concept and idea are different. The former implies a general direction while the latter is the component. Ideas implement the concept. 
10.    Ideas can be works of reading; they are in a chain of development that may eventually find some form. All ideas need not be made physical. 
11.    Ideas do not necessarily proceed in logical order. They may set one off in unexpected directions, but an idea must necessarily be completed in the mind before the next one is formed. 
12.    For each work of reading that becomes physical there are many variations that do not. 
13.    A work of reading may be understood as a conductor from the reader's mind to the writer's. But it may never reach the writer, or it may never leave the reader's mind. 
14.    The words of one reader to another may induce an idea chain, if they share the same concept. 
15.    Since no form is intrinsically superior to another, the reader may use any form, from an expression of words (read or heard) to physical reality, equally. 
16.    If images are used, and they proceed from ideas about literature, then they are literature and (not) art; numbers are (not) mathematics. 
17.    All ideas are reading if they are concerned with reading and fall within the conventions of reading. 
18.    One usually understands the reading of the past by applying the convention of the present, thus misunderstanding the reading of the past. 
19.    The conventions of reading are altered by works of reading. 
20.    Successful reading changes our understanding of the conventions by altering our perceptions. 
21.    Perception of ideas leads to new ideas. 
22.    The reader cannot imagine his/her reading, and cannot perceive it until it is complete. 
23.    The reader may misperceive (understand it differently from the reader) a work of reading but still be set off in his/her own chain of thought by that misconstrual. 
24.    Perception is subjective. 
25.    The reader may not necessarily understand his/her own reading. His/Her perception is neither better nor worse than that of others. 
26.    A reader may perceive the reading of others better than his/her own. 
27.    The concept of a work of reading may involve the matter of the piece or the process in which it is made. 
28.    Once the idea of the piece is established in the reader's mind and the final form is decided, the process is carried out blindly. There are many side effects that the reader cannot imagine. These may be used as ideas for new works. 
29.    The process is mechanical and should not be tampered with. It should run its course. 
30.    There are many elements involved in a work of reading. The most important are the most obvious. 
31.    If a reader uses the same form in a group of works, and changes the material, one would assume the reader's concept involved the material. 
32.    Banal ideas cannot be rescued by beautiful execution. 
33.    It is difficult to bungle a good idea. 
34.    When a reader learns his/her craft too well he/she makes slick reading. 
35.    These sentences comment on reading, but are (not) reading.



Sol Lewitt, Sentences on Conceptual Art,  0-9, pp. 3-5, New York 1969, and Art-Language (England), May 1969
Kenneth Goldsmith, Paragraphs on Conceptual Writing, Open Letter, Twefth Series, Number 7, pp. 98-101, Ontario 2005