Slow Leak: A Series on Haptic Reading

a.p. / callie’s (Berlin, Germany)
Between Bridges (Berlin, Germany)
October - November, 2023
With Hikari Nishida, Daria Blum, Claudia de la Torre, Czar Kristoff, Rindon Johnson & The Non-Productive Readers
Curatorial project organized in collaboration with Viscose Journal

Slow Leak - an expanded exhibition in the form of a rotating series of artists books and events - attempted to build an argument for practicing haptic, rather than optic, seeing. In much of Western philosophical thought, our senses are limited to the singular abilities attributed by the demarcation of touch, hearing, sight, smell, and taste. Deploying a Deleuzian logic of the haptic, sensory organs are instead understood as constituting the volatile boundary layer between our flesh and the exterior world through a messy, inextricable practice of sense-making. What is the vision of a hand as distinct from an eye, or the touch of an eye as distinct from a hand?

Books, in so far as they are purveyors of written language, have historically worked to privilege sight. However, the book as an epistemological format presents the potential for a manifold of haptic relations. Books contain their own physical demands. Reading is never passive nor disembodied; it exists at the confluence of language and the body. In the contexts of both the digital and cerebral, the haptic qualities of reading work to inscribe the somatic within non-material spaces.

Over the course of two months, Slow Leak  presented work by visual artists and collectives, writers, and self publishers which take an experimental approach to the act of reading, the role of publication, and the requirements of a book object itself. Through considerations of the virtual, erotic, commercial, and performative, these works ask the question, what is haptic reading?

“Left rain, right sand, in the middle possibilities” Hikari Nishida and Albane Durand-Viel with text by Guilhem Pratt Self published, 2020, 11 x 19.5 cm, Munken print white 90g/m2 64 pages, 1st edition of 25

“Dream (in a Dream)” Hikari Nishida, amount of pages variable, removable binder clips
“Dream (in a Dream)”  performance and installation, vapaan taiteen tila, Helsinki 2021

“Meet In the Corner” Rindon Johnson, VR video with sound, Publishing, 2017, flattened still 

“Meet In the Corner” Rindon Johnson, VR video with sound, Publishing, 2017, flattened still