SUMMARY

Paul Graham’s ‘A1: The Great North Road’, A Summary

A really busy and enjoyable month looking at this great book with a whole bunch of contributors to whom I am extremely thankful for making it such a vibrant and lively discussion. As always, you can find the summary of our discussion below, but feel free to continue adding thoughts and questions in.

Next up on the Photobook Club is Mark Power’s ’26 Different Endings’, but before that, a short break as I am picking up the camera shortly and heading to the Cat and Fiddle road in the Peak District for several weeks to begin a project of my own. If anyone is in the area and would like to meet up for beer and books – give me a shout.

– Matt

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

Summary: Sally Mann’s ‘Immediate Family’

Another awesome month on the Photo Book Club thanks to those who contributed and shared their own thoughts on Sally Mann’s ‘Immediate Family’. I really enjoyed taking the time to get re-aquanted with this book, and found new themes and new images that resonated more than before.

Stay tuned for the next lineup of books we will be looking at, but during April I will be working on a couple other PBC projects as well as the meetup I will be holding in Newcastle, UK.

– Matt

Summary: Stephen Shore’s ‘Uncommon Places’

An awesome month on the Photo Book Club looking at Stephen Shore’s masterpiece, a big thanks to all who contributed to the discussion with a special shout to Kurt Easterwood for sharing a fantastic piece of extended writing on one of Shore’s images.

Through March we will be looking at Sally Mann’s ‘Immediate Family’, so as always, if you would like to share your thoughts, get in touch.

– Matt

You can check out all 16 posts from this month below:

Still haven’t seen the book?

Stephen Shore: Some Food for Thought #1

As we look at Stephen Shore’s ‘Uncommon Places’ this month I have been overwhelmed by the amount of great resources online to get your Shore fix on.  A few are linked below, these are by no means the only interviews/posts on Shore’s work, but offer a good starting point:


Interviews

Stephen Shore and Aaron Schuman ‘Uncommon Places’ 2004 (on Seesaw)
Select Quote: (reffereing to the original Uncommon Places)
“Well, I’m not turning my back on that work.  It’s all included in the new edition.  It’s just that, the original ought to have been twice the size to include other stuff.  That aspect of the project was that aspect of the project.  But, it just wasn’t the complete project.”

Stephen Shore and Ben Sloat ‘An Uncommon Interview’ 2007 (On ASX)
Select Quote:
“My book does not deal with the content of the pictures, it deals with what might be called the visual grammar of photography.”

James Welling puts five questions to Stephen Shore 2010 (on ArtInfo)
Select Quote:
“I take only one picture of a subject, even with a digital camera, unless I’m photographing something that is in motion or changing.”

Stephen Shore and Rong Jiang ‘The Apparent is a Bridge to the Real’ 2007 (on ASX)
Select Quote:
“I wanted to see what our culture was really like. I knew New York. And in “American Surfaces”, there were a good number of pictures taken in New York City. But I wanted to see a wider spectrum of a culture. I wanted to see the ordinary things that were not the news.”


Videos

Stephen Shore ‘Uncommon Places’ 2011
– Shore talks about his compositional style, technique and his choice to present images from Uncommon Places as unusually small prints.

Photo LA – La Brea Matrix      (Part 2)
– Shore joins a panel including Marcus Schaden to talk about the La Brea Matrix project of which he is both the inspiration for, and a part of.

Stephen Shore in Dublin
This short film follows Stephen Shore during a gallery setup in Dublin and it contains a conversation about one specific photo (New York City 2000/2002) between him and John Hutchinson, director of the gallery.

Stephen Shore in Paris 2010
– Phaidon produced this short video primarily concerning Shore’s journey into photography as well as Warhol’s influence on the photographer

Eggleston AND Shore
– William Eggleston and Stephen Shore share a stage in a brief interview

Uncommon Places, The Complete Book
– Of course our own video showing Uncommon Places (The Complete Works) in it’s entirety can be found here or at the end of this post

Posts

Blake Andrews on La Brea and Beverly

La Brea and Beverly (2011) by Blake Andrews
– Here Blake deftly melts together Shore’s original images made at the La Brea and Beverly intersection with a variety of quotes and other artworks made at the site from the likes of Banksy to Dalton Rooney who visited the site via Streetview.

Stephen Shore ‘Uncommon Places’ (2004) by Aaron Schuman
– A fantastic and detailed overview of Uncommon Places from Aaron Schuman

“Shore’s new book finally reveals that this extensive body of work has always essentially been a photographic autobiography-an autobiography of seeing”

Stephen Shore’s 1982 Artist Statement
– The original artist statement from the 1982 ‘Uncommon Places’ book

 

– Matt

And if you haven’t seen the book yet, check it out below:

Sentimental Journey, Winter Journey: A Summary

A great month in December looking at Nobuyoshi Araki’s ‘Sentimental Journey’ and a big thanks to all who contributed. This is a rather late roundup of the events from December, but for those on the mailing list, you may have noticed I also thought we were in 2010!

In February we will be looking at Stephen Shore’s ‘Uncommon Places’

The Ballad Of Sexual Dependencey: A Summary

Thanks to all who have contributed to the discussion on Nan Goldin’s ‘Ballad Of Sexual Dependencey’. It has been a great month. We have compiled an archive of the posts below for future reference and will also be listed under the reading list page.

Synopsis: Nan Goldin – ‘The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency’
Share your thoughts on Nan Goldin’s ‘Ballad of Sexual Dependecy’
Nan Goldin: Some food for thought #1
Nan Goldin: Some food for thought #2
Lloyd Spencer on ‘Ballad of Sexual Dependency’, a personal reflection
Niall McDiarmid on ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’, a personal reflection
Matt Johnston on ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’, a personal reflection

Invisible City: A Summary

As I have mentioned often in this process we are truly thankful that Ken has taken the time to illuminate us through a book that the majority of readers had never seen in it’s entirety. And one that only gains from Ken’s insightful and open posts. I would like to think that this book has become more accessible in some form to its new audience, it absolutely deserves to be seen.

Below is a list of all posts and reflections that have been shared this past month, which forms the most comprehensive archive we have created yet.

– Matt

Posts

Invisible City: Synopsis
Invisible City: The Book and the Images (VIDEO)
Invisible City: The Text
Invisible City: Lecture notes from 1990
Invisible City: Nightwalk, Fragments and Alternates

Other Books by Ken Schles

Ken Schles On: The Photo Book Club Process
Ken Schles On: How Invisible City came to be
Ken Schles on: The rare and unique life of Invisible City (Addendum)
Ken Schles On: Invisible City and Photobook Lists
Ken Schles Appearing In: (Talks, exhibitions and signings)

Personal Reflections

Stan Banos
Jeff Brouws
Jn-Ulrick Desert
Ludwig Haskins
Matt Johnston
Steve Pyke
Nina Seigenfeld Velazquez