Matt Johnston on The Future of Photobooks

Below is a talk I gave at University college London as part the London Design Festival 2011.

The panel included Dr Aquiles Alencar-Brayner of the British Library, Teresa Pereira of Blurb Books and Angus Phillips, Director of the Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies at Oxford Brookes University.

We were asked the question ‘What is to become of photobooks?’. I attempted to answer in relation to:

  • The Photo Book Club
  • The book as an object
  • Community
  • Experience

– Matt

Ken Schles appearing in:

Ken Schles is a busy man! As well as contributing a great amount of his time to this special Photo Book Club month, Ken will be appearing and exhibiting at a number of great events over the next few months. Hopefully our discussions have inspired you to hear more of Ken’s thoughts on photobooks or to see ‘Invisible City’ and Ken’s new book ‘Oculus

A list of upcoming events is shown below:

30/09/2011 – 02/10/2011
NY Art Book Fair PS1 (advance copy of Oculus will be there, and so will I)
Preview of the limited edition at the Charles Lane Press booth Sat Oct.1 at 2pm. A very LIMITED number of copies of the trade edition will be at Dashwood books at the NY Art Book Fair —get there early for the trade edition.

01/10/2011 – 03/10/2011
Platform LA (advance copy of Oculus will be there, but not me)
A limited edition of Oculus can be seen at the Lapis Press booth #121 (I will not be in attendance due to the NYABF, see above)

15/10/2011 – 19/10/2011 (opening 14th)
Bursa Photo Festival: at least two talks –one on my work and one more about the process of making photo books. There will be an exhibition of Invisible City. Probably the largest installation of the work to date.
This is the first showing of Invisible City in 7 years and only the third time it’s had an exhibition print showing (the Museum of Modern Art showed the book as an object in its More Than One Photography exhibit in 1992). I will be giving a talk on my work and a separate hands on talk specifically about making my photo books.

22/10/2011 – 11/12/2011 (opening 21st)
Noorderlicht Exhibition of Oculus and release – The Netherlands

3/11/2011 – 05/11/2011
Society for Photographic Education North East and Mid-Atlantic Conference
Keynote: Alec Soth, Honored Educator: Doug DuBois, Featured Speakers: John Gossage, Mary Virginia Swanson, and Andy Adams, General Speakers Include: Colette Copeland, W.M. Hunt, Paula McCartney, Ken Schles, Tate Shaw, Anne Whiston Spirn, and more…

3/11/2011 – 06/11/2011
The Edition Art Book Fair: (Lapis press will have the limited edition of Oculus –but I will be up at the SPE Conference)

10/11/2011 – 13/11/2011
Paris Photo
3 very definite events in the main pavilion:
1. Harper Books will have the newly created, commissioned for the fair Invisible City inspired project: Invisible City: Nightwalk, Fragments and Alternates (book dummy);
2. there will be a book signing with on Saturday November 12 for Oculus (with the limited edition also available and on view)
3. Markus Schaden is doing this very interesting  project, (for which I contributed a piece).

This year Paris Photo will have a new space dedicated to publishers and specialist booksellers with the presentation of this year’s novelties, but also old books, rare books or limited editions. Book signing sessions on the stands will provide the public with an opportunity to meet the photographers.

The full programme of signing sessions will be posted on-line at the end of September.There is a strong possibility that Noorderlicht will be at the Paris Photo off-print (to be confirmed), in which case, I will do a book signing there as well.



Join the Photo Book Club for the first meet-up at Photobook London

We will be holding our inaugural meet-up at Photobook London in the evening with an informal event of books, discussion and beer.

As well as the Photo Book Club bringing a selection of the books they have looked at over the past 6 months, those who wish to attend are asked to bring along a photobook to share and discuss. After the event, one of these books will be chosen to be January’s book on the Photo Book Club.
This event has a limited number of spaces, please email to reserve a space.

Date:           Monday 5th September
Time:          18:00
Location:   PhotoBook London
29-31 Saffron Hill
London EC1N 8SW

One half of the photo Book Club at London Design Festival

As already announced last month, I will be speaking at the London Design Festival’s ‘Story of Books’ event this September in London. The event has some great speakers lined up and will promote discussion around the future and changing form of the book.

I will be looking closely at the photography book in particular and ways in which I see it developing, as well as the huge support we have had for the Photo Book Club, and for the physical books and stores that we all love.

I would be keen to hear Photo Book Club readers thoughts on the state/future of books and so you can get involved with discussion via the twitter hashtag #storyofbooks or in the comments section below.

If you would like to attend, you can get your tickets from this website. The talk takes place on September 17th at the Department of Anthropology, University College London from 10.30am – 3.00pm.

– Matt

Photo Book Club Meet-up Map

A Photo Book Club suggests physical meetings, and it is something we have always wanted to be part of, and help facilitate. And so you can now find a map on the ‘Meet-ups’ page which we hope to get populated with people and meeting places.

Wayne and I will take part in potentially the first meeting this September as part of Photobook London although if anyone has a meeting before let us know!

The map can be seen below and can be edited by anyone

View The Photo Book Club ‘Meet-up Map’ in a larger map

August’s book is……

Actually, there is no book for August! We were planning to look at Nan Goldin’s ‘Ballad of Sexual Dependency’ but have recently agreed to several events in September, and so are going to take a month out.

We will be looking at Goldin’s masterpiece in October now, and September itself will be a special month, with Ken Schles joining us to get involved with the discussion of his book ‘Invisible City’.

And so what are these events? Well, more details will follow shortly and be posted here, but for now we can say they involve the two following exciting projects.

– Matt Johnston