The Photobook Club Lisbon’s innaugral Meetup

Looks like photobook lovers in Lisbon, Portugal are going to be in for a treat as the Photobook Club Lisbon held it’s first meetup this weekend and plan to have many more.

Organizer Susana Paiva will be giving a brief summary soon, but for now, here are some images from the event taken by Mario Pires, and if you want to head to their next meetup, find out more on their Facebook page.

The Photobook Club Lisbon ©MARIO PIRES
The Photobook Club Lisbon ©MARIO PIRES
The Photobook Club Lisbon ©MARIO PIRES
The Photobook Club Lisbon ©MARIO PIRES

Meetup in Madrid on Tuesday, Meetup in NY last night!

Just a quick reminder to anyone who is in Madrid on Tuesday night and loves photobooks, get yourself to the inaugural Photo Book Club Madrid event. All the details can be found at the bottom of this post in Spanish and a perhaps poor English translation, or by clicking here and heading to the Facebook page!

In other meetup related news – Last night Helka Aleksdóttir organized and hosted a meetup in New York which seems to have been a great success, head over to the photobook facebook group that Helka runs for more information, but for now a picture of the event.

IMAGE Helka Aleksdóttir

Mathieu Asselin:
Oli’s Meetup in NY was great!, lots of beautiful books, people and a nice screening of the documentary “How to make Books with  Steidl… More meetups coming soon. keep posted on Photobook Group on FB.

If and when more meetups take place in NY, I shall post details here and send out to all on the newsletter list.

– Matt

Details on Madrid meetup:

PhotoBook Club Madrid sesión 01
martes, 28 de febrero de 2012
a las 19:00 h.
en la Real Sociedad Fotográfica
c/ Tres Peces, 2
metro: L1 Antón Martín, L3 Lavapiés
t. +34 915397579

Como es la primera reunión todo el que quiera asistir trae un fotolibro que le apasione para compartirlo con los demás. Entre todos hablaremos de ellos compartiendo una tarde alrededor de una mesa y unos cafés.

La entrada es libre, no cuesta nada, no hace falta avisar y no es necesario ser socio de la RSF. Por favor, sed puntuales. Os esperamos con café calentito.

PhotoBook Club Madrid meeting 01 Tuesday, February 28, 2012 19: 00 h. in the Royal Society photo as the first meeting is anyone who wants to attend brings a photobook that you passion to share with others. Together we will talk about them sharing an evening around a table and a few cafes.

Admission is free, costs nothing, there is no need to notify and don’t need to be a member of the RSF. Please be punctual. I hope with warm coffee.

Royal Photographic Society
three fish, 2 c /
metro: L1 Anton Martin, L3 Lavapies
t. + 34 915397579

Photo Book Club meet-up: Madrid, 28th February

Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa of ‘Gloves for Dummies’ got in touch today to let me know about the latest photobook meet-up starting in Madrid, Spain. The first even is planned for the 28th of February (19.00) and is to be held at the Real Sociedad Fotográfica. For more info, hit the link and see the  ‘Tertulia de libros’ event.

– Matt

Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa de ‘Gloves for Dummies‘ se puso en contacto hoy mismo para que me haga saber sobre el último álbum de fotos de cumplir-puesta en marcha en Madrid, España. El primero, incluso está prevista para el 28 de febrero (19.00) y se llevará a cabo en la Real Sociedad Fotográfica. Para más información, pulse en el enlace y ver un evento de la “Tertulia de Libros ‘.

A Photobook meet-up in Barcelona Dec 2011

Photo Book Club meet-up with guest Ricardo Cases

The Photo Book Club Barcelona meets once again tomorrow night. Unfortunately (but in a great way) all the places have already been taken, and there is currently a waiting list for these meetings!

Ricardo Cases, whose ‘Paloma al Aire‘ was featured on many ‘Best of’ lists, including coming 3rd on Marc Feustel’s king of lists, will be the guest at the event, introducing Richard Billingham’s ‘Ray’s a Laugh’.

Ricardo Cases 'Paloma al Aire'

Those who are lucky enough to go to the event: I would love to hear a review of the evening, from a participants point of view ( )

– Matt

Matt Johnston on ‘The Ballad of Sexual Dependency’, a personal reflection

I have never truly enjoyed Goldin’s ‘Ballad’ as much as I feel I should, but I have always had a copy on my shelf.

I have it because of the confirmation it provides that turning one’s camera onto your own ‘tribe’, onto what you know and live, can be as interesting as a trans-continental adventure with a plate camera and entourage of assistants. Goldin’s friends and ‘characters’ may be more universally interesting than many but if another photographer had parachuted into these situations, the result I am sure, would not be looked at with the same appreciation ‘Ballad’ is today.

I have a copy of ‘Ballad’ to challenge me, I have bought too many books based on their aesthetics and subject matter that have gone on to rarely be opened. I know what is in them, I understand it, I like it, I know it. ‘Ballad’ is a beautifully honest, yet awkward film to me, the kind that you will keep watching, and re-watch, and discuss, but never truly understand, and never fully enjoy.

I am also frustrated by the book. I am aware that a book may rarely give a complete view of a subject, but ‘Ballad’ seems to be missing so much, the work lives far beyond the pages, in slide shows, and music and talks, in bars and rooms once occupied by Goldin and her tribe. I feel the book only scratches the very surface of a much larger being.

I am glad to hear others views on this book, if only to be reassured that I am not the only one who has a strange respect rather than love relationship with it.


– Matt Johnston

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


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


Synopsis: Ken Schles – ‘Invisible City’


Invisible City


Ken Schles


Twelvetree Press, 1988

For a decade Ken Schles watched the passing of time from his Lower East Side Manhattan neighborhood. His camera has fixed the instances of his observations, and these moments become the foundation of his invisible city. Friends and architecture come under the scrutiny of his lens and, when sorted and viewed in the pages of this book, a remarkable achievement of personal vision emerges.

For the next month we will be looking at Invisible City with its author Ken Schles adding comment and context throughout. After you have seen the book and text using the links below, perhaps you would like to put a question to Ken?

Getting a copy of Invisible City is not easy, hence our video and text posts, but you can get your hands on Ken’s latest release ‘Oculus’ from or from the publisher, Noordelicht here.


Invisible City: The Images (VIDEO)

Invisible City: The Book (VIDEO)

Invisible City: the Text

Ken Schles’ Website

Review by Guy Trebay

Review by Thomas Beller




Join the Photo Book Club for the first meet-up at Photobook London

We will be holding our inaugural meet-up at Photobook London in the evening with an informal event of books, discussion and beer.

As well as the Photo Book Club bringing a selection of the books they have looked at over the past 6 months, those who wish to attend are asked to bring along a photobook to share and discuss. After the event, one of these books will be chosen to be January’s book on the Photo Book Club.
This event has a limited number of spaces, please email to reserve a space.

Date:           Monday 5th September
Time:          18:00
Location:   PhotoBook London
29-31 Saffron Hill
London EC1N 8SW

Meet-up Map – An update and improved ease of use!

The Photo Book Club Meet-up map has now had over 10,000 hits and a smattering of people adding themselves to the map in order to meet up with like minded ‘photobook-folk’. We also have the first few meetings shown on the map so make sure you check out if they are near you!

Some people have contacted me having trouble with adding themselves onto the map and so in order to make this smoother, I have created a form below and on the Meet-up page which when filled in, will be sent to myself in order to add you to the map.

If you are planning to host or organize a meeting, pop an email to and we shall add this to the map as well as publicize it on the website.

The map is still public and can be edited by anyone, this public nature also means that the information you provide can be seen by other users. If you would rather, you can provide a website instead of direct contact information, and a rough location rather than your house!

[customcontact form=1]

One half of the photo Book Club at London Design Festival

As already announced last month, I will be speaking at the London Design Festival’s ‘Story of Books’ event this September in London. The event has some great speakers lined up and will promote discussion around the future and changing form of the book.

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.

I would be keen to hear Photo Book Club readers thoughts on the state/future of books and so you can get involved with discussion via the twitter hashtag #storyofbooks or in the comments section below.

If you would like to attend, you can get your tickets from this website. The talk takes place on September 17th at the Department of Anthropology, University College London from 10.30am – 3.00pm.

– Matt