I spent the first weekend of the month running a Photobook workshop in Casablanca, Morocco funded by Coventry University’s DMLL and with a great group of students. Some of these participants were photographers, some had studied at art schools, some were passionate amateurs but all were super engaged and I learned a lot…
Images by Daniel Donnelly
The desire to make is great
– while there is some critique of a maker culture which undervalues curation and debate in favour of production, it was clear that the transition from screen to paper and images into book brought about genuine excitement.
Sometimes sharing is separating
– Daniel Donnelly (with whom I ran the workshop) and I were keen to involve an online and social element to the project – to tweet particular moments, Facebook particular questions etc – a way to engage with communities beyond the room. It was apparent though that this took away from the intense experience of the session, removed participants and their attention – it was instead used as refference and record for the ‘real life’ experience. We didn’t push it, and I now notice how these spaces have become a great repository – extending the project longitudinally.
Competition isn’t healthy
– competition pushes us, it is a useful element of the learning process – I call bullshit – it was so refreshing to see people truly pleased for one another and their works. I want to find out how to inject some of this into an education system that constantly seeks to place people in competition – either by age, institution, or through high fees and low employment options.
These were exciting books
– it is hard to say without appearing patronising, getting giddy over the exotic or promoting the location-based photobook mining we have seen over the last ten years BUT these were exciting books. Techniques and structures were used without knowledge of their reference to previous works – they were used as they were appropriate. Images were treated as possibilities in the book and the book was treated as a possibility for the images.
These folks would love some books
– it isn’t easy to come by photobooks in Casablanca, in fact it is almost impossible, yet their is a community hungry to see new works and old. I have been sending books to Morocco for some time, and will continue to do so, but maybe think about the next time you send out X% of your edition to reviewers and collectors – send some to a library, community or school – it will likely be far more useful.
Really excited to be running a workshop with Daniel Donnelly in Casablanca this September (4th – 6th) for locals, both professional, amateur and interested. The 3 day workshop will focus on connecting with an audience through edit and design but will also feature a binding tutorial.
Participants will leave with a dummy book and the knowledge, as well as basic equipment, to take the next steps in bringing a photobook into existence. For more information, see the event page here.
This event is supported by the DMLL at Coventry University
After a week in which I have attempted some sort of stocktake of the numerous Photobook Clubs around the world, it is great to hear the Photobook Club Montevideo has set its first date – 22nd May. See the note from organiser Federico Estol below and head to the facebook page here.
And for those interested – there are now 49 active clubs who have held over 340 meetings so far!
The first event of Photobook Club Montevideo is the 22 of may in the Contraluz Art Hostel Montevideo. Will be presentation of local publications and co working to plan new photobooks. Also will be the talk of professional of the editorial process.
– Federico Estol
Great news from Iceland in the form of the first meeting of the Photobook Club Reykjavik. Information on the branch and on their innaugral meeting is shown below…
location (at least for first meeting):
Samband íslenskra myndlistarmanna (SÍM)
The Association of Icelandic Visual Artists
Hafnarstræti 16, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland
The Box of Dummies, which has been touring for over 6 months now, will be in Alicante on April 8th with the Photobook Club Alicante and the Photobook Club Granada at the Contemporary Art Museum of Alicante. If you can get to the meeting you will be able to get your hands on these great prospective works and if not – check out the website with video flick-throughs.
Thanks to José Carlos Robles and Carlos Aguilera who are organising the event for the details and the images of previous meetings shown below…
PLACE : MACA (Contemporary Art Museum of Alicante)
Date: April , 8.
Hour: 18:30 p.m.
You can check the latest news in our web in this link.
Really fantastic to see a Comic Book Club launch in Coventry recently. The club, which has already met several times was founded and is run by Nadhirah Nadzri and Charlie Smith-McMahon. Really excited to run a joint club with Nadhirah and Charlie which will investigate the narrative structures of photobooks and comic books and graphic novels together.
Images are thanks to Adam Tieghe.
Great news from Mariela Sancari of the Photobook Club Mexico City…
We had our first meeting a couple of days ago! It was really good! We still have to adjust some logistics details but it was great.
We had Alex Dorfsman as our first guest and he showed and talked about his 5 published books. Really interesting! We did a skype with the participants in Monterrey 🙂 it was fun!
Here are some pictures of the event.
I will let you know the date for the next meeting soon!
Had a fantastic day at the University of Huddersfield with photography students this week, speaking about the photobook as a form of communication and giving some practical help to students working on books. Was great to see photobooks in their infant stages as well as to work with students in re-editing John Gossage’s ‘The Pond’ and Nathan Pearce’s ‘Midwest Dirt’. A few pictures here from Richard Mulhearn…
I will be at Belfast exposed this coming Thursday 5th february for a workshop – spaces limited but click the pic below to find out more information and see if their is availability.
Will be in New York from 21st – 27th March, if anyone has any recommendations that are a little off the beaten track for exhibitions or book stores they would be greatly appreciated. Similarly if anyone is interested in meeting or having a book club event then shout – email@example.com
While this chat I recently had with Ben Krewinkel mostly focused on methodology and importance of conversation in the image making process, it still may be of interest for some who have seen ‘A Possible Life; Conversations with Gaulbert‘…
A conversation about conversation with Ben Krewinkel from CU Photography on Vimeo.
Matt Johnston talks to Ben Krewinkel about the project ‘A Possible Life; Conversations with Gaulbert’ in which Krewinkel co-authored a documentary about identity, memory and documentation of an undocumented person. ‘Gaulbert’, an illegal immigrant who resided in Amsterdam was both subject and collaborator leading to a wonderfully rich, sometimes tense and consistently powerful body of work.
For any interested, this is a small part of an open class I am teaching at the moment which lives online at www.picbod.org – take part if you like!
In other news, Nathan Pearce has successfully bootlegged ‘Midwest Dirt’ which is available in all its rough and ready glory here. ($9)