VIDEO

The PBC presented at the European League of Institutes of the Arts (VIDEO)

In June of 2013 I was invited to present the Photobook Club at the ELIA ‘Preparing the Artist of Tomorrow’ conference held in Utrecht and Amsterdam. I spoke about the projects birth, how it has enhanced my students learning and how, through the removal of my own authorship, the project has taken off all over the world.

Matt Johnston presents The Photobook Club at ELIA Confeence from Photobook Club on Vimeo.

More on ELIA – elia-artschools.org/

 

Midwest Dirt by Nathan Pearce, ed by Matt Johnston – looking for support

I mentioned briefly when it was launched that I have been working with a talented Midwest photographer Nathan Pearce to bring his story and vision of the Midwest to more people in the form of a beautiful photobook.

If you want to help fund the project or find out more, you can do so on the indiegogo page but what I would really love is for you to listen to Nathan…

It was not lightly that I took on this project and there have been a number before and since that have simply not been a good fit but I am very interested to hear from anyone who may be interested in working alongside me on book projects or photography or any other medium provided it provokes memory or emotion.

– Matt

Dr Strangepub: Casey Kelbaugh

This is the last in the current series of conversations based on the future of photographic publishing that I dubbed ‘Dr Strangepub‘. If there are people you think should be  part of these conversations (and I already have an extensive list), then let me know.

– Matt

Casey Kelbaugh is a photographer and founder of the now-worldwide phenomenon ‘Slideluck Potshow

Casey talks here about the importance and need for the physical event in 21st century publishing and the challenges associated with trying to bring that experience to an online community.

Click the image below to play the audio:

 

Dr Strangepub: Andreas Schmidt

When I introduced the ‘Dr Strangepub’ project a few weeks back which features a series of conversations about the future of photographic publishing, I mentioned I would highlight those conversations over the coming weeks. This time it is the turn of Andreas Schmidt, who has been described as someone who ‘takes the concept of the book and shakes it like a rag doll…until its head comes off.’

Here, Schmidt talks about the rise of print on demand technology and what it has enabled a generation of artists to do as well as the role of the performance in photobook publishing.

Find out more about the ABC Andreas speaks of here.
See the rest of the Dr Strangepub conversations here

 

The Photobook Club San Sebastian’s First Meetup: In 40 Seconds!

The Photobook Club San Sebastian’s inaugural event was a huge success with a great turnout and fantastic selection of photobooks, new and old. Big shout to organizer Yosigo Yosigo who also put together this wee trailer/teaser from the event and also documented each of the books brought along (which you can see below).

Here are the books discussed at this meetup, just click on the image to go to the full Facebook library. More images from the event itself found here.

Books!

Ken Schles: Invisible City, A Digital Resource

This really should not have taken as long as it has, and for that my apologies. I often stress that accessibility is of paramount importance to me and The Photobook Club so was well aware that in publishing the Invisible City iBook I was both improving access to content for some but excluding a large audience also.

And so here I hope to rectify that by launching ‘Ken Schles: Invisible City, A Digital Resource’ as an enhanced PDF. Provided you have the latest Adobe Reader software (free and available on all platforms) you can download the resource for free below.

About:
This publication takes on a magazine-style format, inside of which you will find not only the images and text featured in Invisible City, but a variety of personal reflections, commentary on the process of creating Invisible City from Ken Schles and even original notes from a lecture given at New York’s International Center of Photography in 1990.

Download the enhanced PDF here to view on your PC/Mac/Tablet (File size: 90mb)

If you have an iPad, you can download the publication free from the link given below via the iBook store.

The complete forward featured in the publication alongside screenshots is featured below this introductory video.

Forward
I set up the Photobook Club in 2010 as a response to both my own fascination and frustration with photobooks. My fascination was born and nurtured as a student spending thousands of hours in the University library choosing books at random by the colour of their spine, or based on recommendations from my peers and tutors. My frustration was a little harder to pinpoint but essentially stemmed from my wanting to learn more about the classic photobooks, those revered and often rare books that held a sense of mystery between their two covers; everyone agreed they were classics but there was little discussion of why.

At the time there was, and still is, a huge interest in photobooks, but predominantly in the new, the self published and the handmade, and so together with partner-in-crime Wayne Ford, I decided to open out my thoughts and learning to a wider community – just as a traditional book club. As well as promoting and facilitating this shared experience online, I was keen to encourage the generative experience the photobook offers us both in spending time with a beautifully crafted artifact, and in sharing thoughts (as well as books) in person.

I certainly hope that (depending on your knowledge of Invisible City), this publication will either introduce you to, or help create a greater understanding of a hugely influential modern photobook. Inside you will find not only the images and text featured in Invisible City, but a variety of personal reflections, commentary on the process of creating Invisible City from Ken Schles and even original notes from a lecture given at New York’s International Center of Photography in 1990.

Regardless of your previous experience with this book, or whether you are a lecturer, photographer, student, book lover or just curious, I would really appreciate your comments via the email address below.

Finally, thanks must of course go primarily to Ken Schles, not only for allowing all to see his wonderful images but also for kindly lending me a copy of the book to work with, and for his enthusiasm towards this project. My thanks also to the contributors listed on the following page who offered their own, personal reflections on the book.

Matt Johnston


matt@photobookclub.org

 

Download the enhanced PDF here to view on your PC/Mac/Tablet (File size: 90mb)

If you have an iPad, you can download the publication free from the link given below via the iBook store.

 

VIDEO – Mark Power’s ’26 Different Endings’

This one is still available at a reasonable price and so this video is in no way a replacement for seeing the real thing, instead it is shown here to give a feel for the layout, design and sequencing of the book, for a selection of high quality images from this book, head over here.

From the publisher:

In this new Photoworks publication, British photographer Mark Power returns to the dialogue between real and imaginary space that characterised his most successful book to date, “The Shipping Forecast” (1996). Once again the premise for this work has been a map and a sense of those invisible boundaries that help to form a strong and durable idea of place. In this case that place is the great sprawl of London, whose outer limits are, for most of us, defined by the extent of the A to Z road atlas. It is these outer zones – where, as the map suggests, the city thins out and then falls away into nothingness – that are the subject of Power’s photographs.

Taking each page of the atlas as his guide Power has embarked on an epic quest into a kind of local unknown, a voyage into a form of melancholic emptiness where the energies of the city evaporate into a strange kind of inertia.Like “The Shipping Forecast” before it, “26 Different Endings” is a project still deeply concerned with the weather, with the everyday drabness of places resigned to their climate of indistinction, where a condition of greyness has become the condition of life.”26 Different Endings” is a report about what appears to be a deeply traumatised place. It is also about a state of mind that Power has become entranced by, one conditioned by flat white skies and a generous expanse of pebble dash, an overbuilt environment where all buildings, new and old, look something like ruins. David Chandler’s autobiographical short story, written in response to Power’s pictures, delves deeper into this state of mind, drawing on a vivid picture of both the emotional and physical landscape of his childhood. Mark Power is Professor of Photography at the University of Brighton, and joined Magnum Photos in 2002. This large-scale, landscape format book is published in a limited edition of 1000.

The Photobook Club Presents… Ken Schles: Invisible City

Today I am pleased to announce the launch of a digital publication looking closely at Ken Schles’ photobook Invisible City. This publication is currently available as a direct download for the iPad but will be available on more platforms shortly. This publication takes on a magazine-style format, inside of which you will find not only the images and text featured in Invisible City, but a variety of personal reflections, commentary on the process of creating Invisible City from Ken Schles and even original notes from a lecture given at New York’s International Center of Photography in 1990.

If you have an iPad, you can download the publication free from the link given below via the iBook store.

DOWNLOAD – ‘Ken Schles: Invisible City, A Digital Resource’ straight from the iBook Store

The complete forward featured in the publication alongside screenshots is featured below this introductory video.

Forward
I set up the Photobook Club in 2010 as a response to both my own fascination and frustration with photobooks. My fascination was born and nurtured as a student spending thousands of hours in the University library choosing books at random by the colour of their spine, or based on recommendations from my peers and tutors. My frustration was a little harder to pinpoint but essentially stemmed from my wanting to learn more about the classic photobooks, those revered and often rare books that held a sense of mystery between their two covers; everyone agreed they were classics but there was little discussion of why.

At the time there was, and still is, a huge interest in photobooks, but predominantly in the new, the self published and the handmade, and so together with partner-in-crime Wayne Ford, I decided to open out my thoughts and learning to a wider community – just as a traditional book club. As well as promoting and facilitating this shared experience online, I was keen to encourage the generative experience the photobook offers us both in spending time with a beautifully crafted artifact, and in sharing thoughts (as well as books) in person.

I certainly hope that (depending on your knowledge of Invisible City), this publication will either introduce you to, or help create a greater understanding of a hugely influential modern photobook. Inside you will find not only the images and text featured in Invisible City, but a variety of personal reflections, commentary on the process of creating Invisible City from Ken Schles and even original notes from a lecture given at New York’s International Center of Photography in 1990.

Regardless of your previous experience with this book, or whether you are a lecturer, photographer, student, book lover or just curious, I would really appreciate your comments via the email address below.

Finally, thanks must of course go primarily to Ken Schles, not only for allowing all to see his wonderful images but also for kindly lending me a copy of the book to work with, and for his enthusiasm towards this project. My thanks also to the contributors listed on the following page who offered their own, personal reflections on the book.

Matt Johnston


matt@photobookclub.org

 

DOWNLOAD – ‘Ken Schles: Invisible City, A Digital Resource’ straight from the iBook Store