This year, for World Photobook Day, we are asking for a focus on that most mysterious and subjective component of the photobook’s life — its reading.
For an up to date account of all that is going on for World Photobook Day, see the map of events here, the Facebook page here and follow on instagram here.
On October 14th we will celebrate World PhotoBook Day, after Anna Atkins’ publication Photographs of British algae. Cyanotype impressions. This has been acclaimed as the first book made out of photographs ever, and on the 176th anniversary of the acquisition by the British Museum we’d like you to join and celebrate with us.
This year, on World Photobook Day, we would love to hear from you, the reader, about your experience with a particular photobook. So, we are asking that you share a reflection on your reading of a particular book with 3 words, as hashtags #. You might choose your latest purchase, the book you only get to read at your friend’s house, or a book you didn’t enjoy and passed along. Tags can be abstract or precise, and we certainly don’t mind some criticality! Don’t forget to add this year hashtag #readerAnna!
As with every year, we know there is not much time to organize large events. We can propose some easy activities you can undertake to celebrate locally this global event:
- 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.
- 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.
- Show your love for photobooks via instagram or twitter with the hashtag #PhotoBookDay.
We have some visuals you can use to add to your posters and social network communications that you will find on this site. And please, tell us what you did for World PhotoBook Day 2019. We hope we all have fun this day with photobooks.
Organise! Participate! Celebrate! World Photobook Day has been set up as a collaboration between the organizers of Photobook Club Madrid, Victoria Cooper, Doug Spowart and Matt Johnston. Celebrating the photobook, born in 1843.
Victoria Cooper + Doug Spowart
Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa
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.
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.
‘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.
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 Club Jakarta
Photobook Club Madeira
Photobook Club Madrid
Photobook Club Montevideo
Photobook Club San Sebastian
Photobook Club Bristol
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.
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
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.
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.
Founder, The Photobook Club