Doug’s Cabin — review up on Photomonitor

As I am in what I hope to be the final stages of my PhD, I have done very little here on this site but rest assured that those who really make The Photobook Club what it is — the organisers of specific meetings or ‘branches’ are still doing amazing things that can be found via the events page. 

While i’ve tried to focus away from specific works, I was really intrigued by the book Doug’s Cabin as a sot of exemplar of a particular modern take on two ways of thinking about the photobook, and have written a review linked below on Photomonitor.

‘It employs the language and aesthetics of the photo-essay photobook combined with pressing contemporary concerns and an ever-present fascination with artist-subject relationships and veracity to create a true tangle of work ‘across multiple layers of time and reality’. Quite how much untangling might be possible is up for debate and relies not only on a reader’s position on a spectrum of belief and disbelief but also how much Bueno and the team behind this project have created a space for comprehension or obfuscation.’

Come 2020 attention will turn back to The Photobook Club and what it can present to the readers of the contemporary medium.

New Year… new Photobook Club in Castellón

Great to hear of a new Photobook Club in the city of Castellón, Spain! If you wan to follow their progress, meetings and of course find out about events then check out the profiles on instagram (here) and Facebook (here).

My thanks to Vicent Tena for sending through the information and coordinating the club.

 

 

The Photobook Club Leeds launches in January

‘Z’ of the newly founded Photobook Club Leeds has been in touch to let me know that their first meeting will take place on the 10th January at Left Bank Leeds. Of course, as all Photobook Club events are, this is open to all and free to participate in. For more information or to show support for the Photobook Club Leeds, head over to their Facebook page here. 

Of course a first report will follow.

The 5th annual #PhotoBookDay

Welcome to the 5th anniversary of World #PhotoBookDay! A Toast To Anna Atkins

So this year, we have a double celebration. As you may know since 2013, every October 14th, we are celebrating the anniversary of the purchase by the British Museum of the first known photobook: Photographs of British algae. Cyanotype impressions, by Anna Atkins. This first copy is now in the British Library.

October 14th was a Saturday in 1843, and the person that wrote this date on the book couldn’t imagine that 174 years later, a bunch of photobook enthusiasts around the globe would remember this small gesture. On this 2017 Photobook Day also falls on Saturday, and what better occasion to celebrate it and toast the creator of this wonderfull publication: Anna Atkins. This will be our motto for this year #AToastToAnna.

We celebrate our passion for photobooks, we rejoice that Anna Atkins bound some cyanotypes, we commemorate every book we have on our shelves, we applaude all the libraries buying photobooks and photozines, we love every person who loves photobooks!

And we’d love you to join us to celebrate this global event by organizing an action related to photobooks in your own city. Spread your love for photobooks around your community. Please share your activities on social media using the hashtag #PhotoBookDay, it will be the best way for everyone in your local community to reach your activity.

On this map see how others celebrate!

As every year, we know there is not much time to organize large events. We can propose some easy activities you can take to celebrate locally this global event:

  • Spread the love by sharing something you think someone will like, not something you think they should like.
  • Post a #PhotoBookDay Selfie or a Shelfie on social media: an image with you and your current favourite photobook.
  • Ask your local library to buy local self-published photobooks and photozines, we are sure you can give them some ideas.
  • If you are in charge of a library, consider purchasing and supporting self-pulished photobooks and photozines on this special day, and mark your book record with a special note to PhotoBookDay.
  • Buy a photobook. Many bookshops and publishers will make special discounts for the day. Follow your favourite bookshops on social media or search for #PhotoBookDay for offers and discounts.
  • If you make or sell books, offer your customers discounts or some special goodies. If you run a bookshop a special 5% discount, or free shipping costs, will make your clients happy. Don’t forget to announce it with #PhotoBookDay on your usual social media channels.
  • Search for a PhotoBook Club in your city to meet with like minded people and share photobooks. If there is no one, PhotoBookDay can be a good day to start one. We’ll make a list with activities organized by clubs all around the globe.
  • Discuss your love of photobooks via the twitter hashtag #PhotoBookDay. Or on instagram, too.


Use the image of the 5th anniversary stamp with the profile of Anna Atkins with lots of her seaweed on her head, that you will find on this site, to add to your visuals. And please, tell us what you did for World PhotoBook Day 2017. We hope we all have fun this day with photobooks.

Organise! Participate! Celebrate! The World Photobook Day has been set up as a collaboration between the organizers of Photobook Club Madrid and Matt Johnston. Celebrating the photobook, born in 1843.

Best,
Juan Barte
Juan Cires
Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa
Matt Johnston

The International Photobook Club – 9 clubs meeting live on 17th

Great to be able to share this… on Wednesday 17th May at 7-9 Barcelona time (UTC+1), 9 Photobook Clubs from around the world will take part in a streamed event as part of the Widephoto, CCCB and Foto Colectania organised discussions on the Photobook Phenomenon. For all the information and streaming details check out the links below…

 

Clubs taking part…

Photobook Club Brisbane
Photobook Club Barcelona
Photobook México
Photobook Club Jakarta
Photobook Club Madeira
Photobook Club Madrid
Photobook Club Montevideo
Photobook Club San Sebastian
Photobook Club Bristol

6 years too late, and still not here… The Photobook Club publication

I have, since the first Photobook Club event, thought about how a short publication with the key principles of the project and voices from different communities around the world would be helpful. Not a guide as such but something solid, the product of the many communities which could serve as record of what we have, and continue to do, and how we go about it.

It’s still not here, but is approaching at least. I would love to include as many voices as possible in this (small)(lowfi) publication and so am asking for people to get in touch with some of the following…

  • General thoughts on what you would like/expect this publication to be/do
  • Short reflections on your time running or organising a Photobook Club
  • Images of events – particularly the more informal images
  • Particularly lively events you have been to, or conversations you remember
  • Practical advice on what has, and has not, worked for you

The publication will be in a single, multi-lingual edition so will also be looking for some help with translation. It’ll be run off on my local laserjet and ‘designed’ by me in order to keep things in the spirit of the PBC — a little disorganised and rarely polished but vibrant, critical and purposeful. This said, if anyone has particular thoughts about design and production please get in touch.

The publication will of course be free.
Email matt@photobookclub.org

Ecuador, Seoul and the Photobook Survey

Great to hear rumblings of Photobook Clubs in Ecuador and Seoul with more details coming int he next few weeks. In the meantime, if you are local (Guayaquil in Ecuador) then please pop me an email so I can forward on your details to the organisers.

In other news, it has been about 4 months since the launch of the 2 surveys of photobook readership I put out with the intention to build a picture of the ways in which we interact with (buy, read and speak about) photobooks. If you have taken part, a huge thanks. If you have not yet I hope I can ask you to spend some time filling out the anonymous survey which is already producing some fascinating insights. Below are three links, the first to anyone who reads photobooks, the second only to those who have attended a Photobook Club event, and the third in Spanish for those who have attended a Photobook Club.

Anyone who reads photobooks… http://bit.ly/2fCDtXe

Photobook Club attendees… http://bit.ly/2duhgKH

Spanish Photobook attendees… http://bit.ly/2fjA5zW 

Thanks, love and here’s to the photobooks of 2017 bringing action and togetherness
Matt

The Photobook Club in SOURCE

The SOURCE photobook edition has been out for a wee while now and the full online archive of ‘great’ photobook selections is available to all for free so a little late sharing this but do check it out. For one, it is a valuable insight into the photobook and the way in which we think about it. Two, it shows who the ‘characters’ of the photobook are. Three, the Photobook Club is in there (and shown below)[and din’t quite follow the ‘greatest’ request]…

Check it out here

While there is definite merit in list forming as a means of introduction and suggestions, it is something I am a little uncomfortable with. The Photobook Club was set up in part as a pragmatic response to canonisation without qualification and seeks to enable open and non-hierarchical discussion. So with this in mind I have asked a number of Photobook Club organisers from around the world to suggest the photobook(s) that their community has had the liveliest discussion around. These choices come from Photobook Clubs in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Coventry, Madrid, Monterrey, Montevideo and Tokyo.

  • Julián Barón, Dossier Humint, 2013.
  • Martin Bollati, La forma Bruta, 2016.
  • Will Steacy, Deadline, 2016.
  • Musuk Nolte, La Primera Piedra, 2013.
  • Xavier Miserachs and Horacio Fernández, Miserachs Barcelona, 2016.
  • Txema Salvans, The Waiting Game, 2014.
  • Nozomi Iijima, Scoffing Pig, 2013.
  • Rodrigo Ramos, Ex Corde, 2015.
  • Paul Gaffney, We Make the Path by Walking, 2013.
  • Vasantha Yogananthan, Early Times, 2016.

Please support photobook research and the PBC with a little of your time…

As part of my current research I am looking to explore ‘readership’ and the photobook — how we find, buy, read and speak about the photobook. For me, this is important if we are to better understand the form and how it operates and not only speak about its popularity.

The most significant part of this process is hearing from as many photobook readers as possible and so I have created a survey for anyone who has ever attended even one single Photobook Club event which can be found here – http://bit.ly/2duhgKH (organisers can also fill this out please!). And, thanks to the kindness of Juan Cires, there is a Spanish version also – http://bit.ly/2fjA5zW. I would be very grateful for anyone who has attended a meeting to fill this out, a process I hope you might also find interesting.

In addition, there is an ‘open’ version of this survey for anyone who has ever picked up a photobook — not just those who have attended Photobook Club meetings. That link can be found here – http://bit.ly/2fCDtXe.

I would be so thankful for your time in this or in sharing with others who might be able to take part — the results (which are anonymous) will soon feed into public presentations of photobook readership for anyone who is interested to get an insight into the lives of books and readers.

Any issues with language/translations, please do not hesitate to get in touch (matt@photobookclub.org)

Matt Johnston
Founder, The Photobook Club

World #PhotoBookDay 2016

Note: for all the news and events relating to #PhotoBookDay, this dedicated site is the place to be… photobookday.wordpress.com

pbd2016
Yes, this is the fourth year we are celebrating World #PhotoBookDay. October 14th marks the anniversary of the purchase by the British Museum of the first known photobook: Photographs of British algae. Cyanotype impressions, by Anna Atkins. Now this first copy belongs in the British Library.

We celebrate our passion for photobooks, we rejoice that Anna Atkins bound some cyanotypes, we commemorate every book we have on our shelves, we applaude all the libraries buying photobooks and photozines, we love every person who love photobooks!

And we’d love you to join us to celebrate this global event by organizing an action related to photobooks in your own city. Spread your love for photobooks around your community. Please share your activities on social media using the hashtag #PhotoBookDay, it will be the best way for everyone in your local community to reach your activity.

On this map see how others celebrate!

As every year, we know there is not much time to organize large events. Here we can propose you some easy actions you can take to celebrate locally this global event:

  • Spread the love by sharing something you think someone will like, not something you think they should like.
  • Post a #PhotoBookDay Selfie or Shelfie on social media: an image with you and your current favourite photobook.
  • Ask your local library to buy local self-published photobook and photozines, we are sure you can give them some ideas.
  • If you are in charge of a library, consider to purchase and support self-pulished photobooks and photozines on this special day and mark your book record with a special note to PhotoBookDay.
  • Buy a photobook. Many bookshops and publishers will make special discounts for the day. Follow your favourite bookshops on social media or search for #PhotoBookDay for offers and discounts.
  • If you make or sell books, offer your customers discounts or some special goodies. If you run a bookshop a special 5% discount will make your clients happy. Don’t forget to announce it with #PhotoBookDay on your usual social media channels.
  • Search for a PhotoBook Club in your city to meet with like minded people and share photobooks. If there is no one, PhotoBookDay can be a good day to start one. We’ll make a list with activities organized by clubs all around the globe.
  • Discuss your love of photobooks via the twitter hashtag #PhotoBookDay. Or on instagram, too.

And please, tell us what you did for World PhotoBook Day 2016. We hope we all have fun this day with photobooks.

Organise! Participate! Celebrate! The World Photobook Day has been set up as a collaboration between the organizers of Photobook Club Madrid and Matt Johnston. Celebrating the photobook, born in 1843.

Best,
Matt Johnston
Juan Barte
Juan Cires
Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa