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.
I wrote just a wee while back about the ‘DIY: Photographers and Books’ exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art which looks at the role of print on demand books in 21st century photographic publishing. Not being able to get to Cleveland I have instead been looking through the catalogue available here.
There is an introduction by Barbara Tannenbaum followed by a primer on POD photobooks. While the information here will be nothing new to those in the POD-game, it is a well written and accessible introduction to anyone with an interest in photobooks and self publishing. What is frustrating however is only having a list of books featured in the exhibition at the back. Perhaps it is pure laziness on my part as all books can be viewed online with a quick search, but to see a spread/image/cover of each would have been especially nice for those who could not attend the show.
I will be looking closely at the photography book in particular and ways in which I see it developing, as well as the huge support we have had for the Photo Book Club, and for the physical books and stores that we all love.
Thanks to ‘Here on the Web‘ for sharing the link to Andreas Schmidt’s book ‘The Americans’ in which Schmidt has sourced 83 images from Google to create a current version of Frank’s work. You can see a full preview of the book as well as purchase it, from blurb here.
“Few books in the history of photography have had as powerful an impact as The Americans”, said The New York Times about Robert Frank’s photobook first published in 1958. More than 50 years later and made entirely without the help of a Guggenheim fellowship comes Andreas Schmidt’s take on a portrait of America. Selected from over 20 million photographs found on Google images, 83 photographs tell a story of contemporary America – pictures of normal people, everyday scenes, lunch counters, bus depots and cars, and the strangely familiar faces of people we don’t quite know but have seen somewhere. They are pictures showing the “American way of life” as we haven’t yet quite been able to see it ourselves, photographs that condense the entire life of a nation in classic images that speak to us today, and in another 50 years to come.