2015; A Year in the Photobook’s Life
A survey of photobook-specific happenings in the US and Europe.
This survey intends to visualise and in a sense, flatten, the many events, competitions and workshops that are taking place around the photobook right now. In doing so, a lineage — or at least a chronology — can be established, demonstrating a growth of interest and increasing institutional support in the medium.
It has been put together with the view that it will act as a record not just of 2015 but the new age of the photobook (golden or otherwise). This research is concerned only with photobook specific events and only covers the US and Europe. This is not because these geographical areas can be seen as the home of the photobook – not by any means, but because this is both the focus of my broader research project, and provides an opportunity, through networks, to realistically claim confidence in correctly recording and listing the vast majority of appropriate events. The choice to begin with the year 2015 is similarly beneficial. While of course many events have run in earlier years, or are starting up in 2016, the single year provides a baseline from which to work back in establishing the aforementioned chronology and origin.
Only photobook-specific events have been recorded — a choice which, if aiming to build a picture of the variety of spaces in which the photobook is present, would be disastrous. Here, art book fairs and non-medium-specific zine workshops for example, have been excluded. In doing so it is hoped that clarity is improved and subjectivity removed.
Fairs and festivals are subject to a further limitation in that they must be multi-day events. Once again a choice of clarity and confidence and not a suggestion that single day events are not a part of the photobook world. Many single day events have been arrived at during this research, the transient and often independent nature of which have on many occasions presented quite different ideas on what the photobook, and what a photobook event should be.
A list of thanks can be found on the right hand side of this visualisation — these are people who have contributed to this survey and without whom many omissions would have been made. There are likely still some errors or misses so please do get in touch if you have any: email@example.com. A scroll of this document will be produced in Autumn of 2016 on lightweight poster paper, if you are interested in having a copy, please email the above address.
A brief note on design: in case unclear, the black lines traveling up the page from events is an indication that the event will be repeated at some point in 2016.