The Box of Books – Tokyo – Canberra – Melbourne

The box of books has been spending time in Tokyo, Canberra and Melbourne recently, the 13th, 14th and 15th stops on it’s world tour. If you haven’t yet gotten to the box, there might still be time – check out the route here or email to see if the box can detour to you.























Big thanks to Sean Davey, organizer of the Photobook Club in Canberra who has this report on the event and has also sent images…

On the 24th of November 2013, we at the Canberra Photobook Club in Australia took our turn in receiving the Photobook Club’s Box of Books at the Huw Davies Gallery at PhotoAccess. We usually only have small gatherings here in Canberra and this meeting was no exception, with an intimate group of five photobook lovers coming together to do some photography reading and to share ideas and reactions about the books.

As well as the Box of Books, the meeting hosted a few books that I brought back from a recent trip to Paris, including Minutes to Midnight and Christmas Tree Bucket by Trent Parke, Americolor by Dennis Church, Hot Days In Okinawa by Mao Ishikawa and Mandy & Eva by Willeke Duijvekam.

It was a real treat to open the box, not only for the books inside, but for the engaging material and hand written notes that accompanied them from other Photobook Club members who had already received the Box of Books. These tactile notes and fragments from other countries really held our attention and before we even go to the books, we read and passed around the notebook and included cards and photos.

It is always interesting to compare photo books when read in the company of others to when they are read alone in private, as one is compelled to communicate immediate feelings and thoughts about material that has only just been ingested, without the time for proper digestion. Like any appreciation, whether critical or acclaimed, time is of the essence when looking at, and absorbing visual art and communication. With two hours set aside for the meeting, it was always going to be rushed trying to read the books, let alone get a grasp of them all, as well as to have conversations about them.

Of the books that were included in the Box of Books,the one that received most attention and generated the most discussion was Interrogations by Donald Webber. The book is bleak, which ever way you look at it, from the harsh, night time landscapes to the frightening and severe images of people in police cells being threatened and interrogated. Along with the images, the group broadly agreed that the text presented in this book adds to the feeling of distress and hopelessness that Webber shows. At the end of the book, I for one felt spent at the experience of going through it, and then I imagined what life is like for the people who get caught up in such a system of threats and violence, all set amongst the unforgivable winter landscape of Russia and the Ukraine.

When our meeting ended, we had indeed discussed most of the books in the box as well as talked about the book making process and some of our own projects. Before we sealed the box, we were all delighted to sign the notebook and include a few cards and momentos from Canberra for the Photobook Clubs that were to receive the box after us.

Thank you to Matt Johnston and the publishers and artists who donated books for this project. We are a comparatively small club here in Canberra, but we are very happy to be part of the wider photobook club community.

Sean Davey


Thanks to Stephanie Richter of the Monash Gallery of Art for holding the latest meetup in Australia, she will be writing a roundup of their activities soon but in the meantime…

The Box of Books was so great, there were about 12 of us and they all had a great time chatting about the different styles and bindings and most of all the ideas and narratives. I think the one I found most intriguing was Mrs. Merryman’s Collection by Anne Sophie Merryman.

Lots of debate about the truth behind the story and images, whether the fronts and backs correspond etc… wonderful.

– Stephanie Richter

(more images here)

Gibraltar bonus:

A few images from the Photobook Club Campo de Gibraltar via it’s organizer, Angel Luis Duarte Sastre…



Photobook Club Amsterdam; first meeting report

Thanks to Taco Hidde Bakker (who runs the PBC Amsterdam along with Shirley Agudo) for this report from the Photobook Club Amsterdam’s inaugural event, complete with some images…

A short update from the Photobook Club Amsterdam front.

Last thursday we had a succesful first meeting with a small club of 10 people. We talked about the idea of the PBC. Shirley introduced Mrs. Merryman’s Collection (Mack, 2012) & I introduced Michael Lesy’s Wisconsin Death Trip (Pantheon, 1973). The books circled round the table and lively discussions stirred up about issues of truth most of all. (Shirley and I didn’t know beforehand that the books we proposed would have such an underlying thematic connection).

This initial meeting certainly calls for many follow-ups…

Taco Hidde Bakker


The Photobook Club Paris Launches on 28th April…

PBC Paris

Awesome news from Pablo Porlan who, together with Emilie Hallard has set up the Photobook Club Paris. They will hold their first meetup on Sunday 28th April at Le Bar Florèal in Paris.

There is more information (in French) here, and you can also head on over to their Facebook page found here or read on below:

Le Paris Photobook Club launches its first meeting the 28th of April between 17h and 21h at Le Bar Floreal, 43 rue des Couronnes


# 1st Reunion of our club (17h to 19h): Bring your most loved photobook! Just the first 20 lucky photobook lovers to write an email to will be able to come.

#2 Aperitif and Projection (19h to 21h): after the meeting everybody is welcomed to join us for wine and snacks. We will be also showing and promoting different photo and video projects.

WE’RE ALSO LAUNCHING AN OPEN CALL for video/photo projects to show during this second part.

If you want to participate just wetransfer ( us your project ( Cross-media projects (photo, video, animation, design… ) are more than welcomed. With or without sound. It could be any new or old stuff of yours.

A brief description of the project (50 to 80 words) and your personal information (name(s), web(s), email(s) will be required.

Time: max 5min
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 px (72ppp) APPLE PRO RES 4.2.2.
Format : .mov

Videos will be selected for their interest, quality and originality by Le Paris Photobook Club. Works selected and their authors will be announced and posted on our blog and facebook site ( before the event.

– Pablo


Photobook Club Branch Updates…

I have been away for a week and as well as a post coming up about a few new book arrivals I thought I would share some updates about various book club branches…

The Photobook Club Gothenburg

Tommy Arvidson has set up the Photobook Club Gothenburg who held their first meetup this last week. see below or a brief report from Tommy:

“Just like to report that we had a nice evening with the Photobook club Gothenburg yesterday. We where a small group of ten and one dog! Discussing the books that everyone had brought ( the dog seemed more interested in one of the participants bag that containd a half-eaten hamburger) It seemed as though everybody had a good time and we are planning to have at least on more meeting this spring….

Also some images from Stefan Karlsson:

Photobook Club Gothenburg

The Photobook Club London

This Thursday 4th April at 6.00pm at the Photographers Gallery Cafe in London I will meet with those interested in helping set up the Photobook Club London. It is not a real meetup as such but an opportunity to meet face to face and discuss ideas for this branch. If you want to head down then please do!

The Photobook Club Sydney

Looks like things are moving along swiftly with he Photobook Club Sydney and should have more news along with dates very shortly! Keep watching. ..

The ‘Box of Books’

The box of books continues it’s long journey around the world with stops at Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra in the past few weeks. The box has been a part of 5 events to date but has another 15 before it can rest! Keep track of the box on the Facebook page here.

Hugo Costa Marques hand delivers to the box of books!

The photobook Club’s ‘Box of Books’

In 2013 a box of photobooks will be traveling over 30,000 miles, stopping off at each of the Photobook Club branches around the world in order to promote discussion of the physical photobook.

7 books, 30,000 miles

Things will be moving quickly from here on so I thought it an idea to show where you can catch up on all the details before the full launch.

Go here to find out where the box is currently
Head here to get involved in discussion of the books in the box (Facebook page)
Find out what is in the box here

More details and launch soon.
If you want the box to visit you, let me know!

– Matt


The Photobook Club Gijon

The Photobook Club Gijon organized by Marcos Arroyo launched two weeks ago and have already planned their second meetup for the 27th of December, which I believe will have the honor of being the last meetup in 2012! I shall have some pictures of the event in the New Year but those who are in the area can sign up and follow the Gijon branch on their Facebook page here.

The Photobook Club Gijon

A Weekend of Photobooks in San Francisco incl a Photobook Club Meetup

This past weekend saw Gallery Carte Blanche in San Francisco team up with Darius Himes and Larissa Leclair of the Indie Photobook Library to create a great event for photobook and photography enthusiasts.

A Photobook Club Meetup in San Fran

Alongside workshops and talks was a Photobook Club meeting that took place on Saturday along with a panel event on photobooks. There is a great write up of the event and specifically the panel discussion written by Michael Silva on his blog here. You can also see a heap of images form the opening, discussion, meetup and more by heading to the Gallery Carte Blanche Facebook page or to the Indie Photobook Library’s gallery for the event – fill yer boots!


The Photobook Club Porto to Hold Innaugral Meetup 26th September

Great to hear that the Photobook Club Porto will be officially launching with their first meetup later this month under the guidance of organizers Ângela Fereira, Jorge Velhote, Nelson d’Aires and Renato Roque who has shared the following information for those who are interested in attending:

The first session is planned for Porto on the 26th September (21.30) at Arquivo, an old house in Oporto, renovated for a restaurant and dedicated to various events. Curiously its name (Archive) has a big relation to photography.

There has been a page created in Facebook for the Photobook Club in Porto found here

The first session will be dedicated to “The Pencil of Nature” which is considered to be the first Photobook (1844), by William Henry Fox Talbot

– Renato Roque

If you are interested in attending, head over to the Facebook page linked above and let Renato know!


New York Meet-up #3: ‘Focus on Japan’

This past weekend the Photobook Club New York held their third meetup, this time themed around the Japanese photobook with some fantastic, rare, and fantastically rare books being shown and shared by the group. Luckily for all who could not attend, organiser Helka Aleksdóttir has a full article on the event on her Phot(o)lia blog.

And if you are interested in attending the next PBC- NY event, then sign up here.

Our third photobook meet-up took place last Saturday evening and was focused on Japan. Russet Lederman and Jeff Gutterman were our special guests and shared gems from their incredible collection of Japanese photobooks. They have been collecting photoboks for over 10 years and have a lot to share. What a great presentation and a show of books it was!

It was a rare opportunity to see first edition (1986) of Masahisa Fukase’s Karasu (Ravens), Eikoh Hosoe’s two versions of Barakei (1963/1971), Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Sea of Buddha, Ikko Narahara’s Espana Grand Tarde (1969) (and more!) and discover less known books like Jun Miki’s Samba Samba Brazil, Shuji Terayama’s Dog-God People. Russet also brought  Osamu Kanemura’s book from the performance Human Noise Amplifier that took place in Tokyo, organized by Ivan Vartanian

– Helka Aleksdóttir

Several images are shown below from the talented Mathieu Asselin, more available via the full article.


Photobook Club Lisbon, Meetup #3

The most recent addition to the Photobook Club family based in Lisbon, Portugal had their 3rd meetup this last week. Thanks to organiser Susana Paiva for sharing these images for the event.

If you would like to meet up with the Photobook Club Lisbon, you can find more information on the branch page here.