Hanne Lippard Curated by Harry Burke for The Printed Room
22 Apr – 27 May 2017

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Published anonymously in Geneva in 1764, Voltaire’s Dictionnaire philosophique portatif was perhaps the first pocket book of the Enlightenment. A little over 300 pages, it sought to economize the dominant encyclopedic form, for, its author claimed, “revolutionary material must be small enough for people to carry with them.”

The smartphone continues this project. Shaped not for the ear, but for more intimate spaces, it puts access to universal knowledge in the palm of one’s hand, and condenses the library into one’s pocket. Like the Enlightenment, its claim to democracy and revolution is founded in brutal, colonial extraction—rearticulated in its dependence upon discriminatory financial and material economies. We plunder pockets of resources. We burn holes in our pockets.

Glass sheets made speakers with surface transducers. Money, many, moans. Hearing the devices hearing us. Screens spleen. Butts dial. Avant-garde or derrière? Take your hands out your pockets. Speak up, reach out. Divest or die. The Printed Room at SALTS proudly presents Pocket, a solo exhibition by Hanne Lippard.

The Printed Room at SALTS, Basel, is dedicated to the exhibition value of literary and printed materials. Established by Quinn Latimer in 2013, since 2015 it has been curated by Harry Burke. Recent programming has given critical emphasis to the spatialization of text and the instability of the reading apparatus.