Once again for World Photobook Day Bonifacio Barrio Hijosa has created some fantastic artwork which celebrates and reimagines Anna Atkins cyanotypes. Here Boni describes the process and asks anyone who downloads the zine or poster to share what they make (#PhotobookDay).
Anna Atkins’ cyanotypes are so powerful images, it seemed clear from the very first moment we should do something with them to catch the attention of anyone, to celebrate this day with us. It had to be an homage to her work.
And now it’s impossible to avoid them. So it get hader and harder to think on a poster to announce this DIY world wide event. As I was stuck with the impossibility of doing something new (well, in that moment I thought that), I started to play with the last thing I made last year. I was asked to vectorize some of the seaweed to make the poster for our local activity in the Library of Fine Arts Faculty, and I vectorized forty three seaweed. They only used a dozen or so.
I gathered them altogether and as I pass the cursor over, the outlines started sparkling. There you have this black gif.
After this childish exercise, with the outlined seaweed on the screen, it came to me the idea of putting them altogether in a way someone could cut them to, I don’t know, decorate their room. And old Burda magazines came to mind very fast. Burda is still a magazine you can buy for making your clothes through patterns. And old DIY way to dress yourself and your kids.
I was used to see them at home, as my mother was very fond of them. If you ever see the central posters spread with all those different lines shaped with circles, triangles, etc, you will understand they are an image you are not going to forget so easily.
So I had the idea, spread all these forty three seaweed outlines on a big paper and make a zine with it. It will be one for anyone to download and print it, if you are able to find the place to plot an A1. Well, that was not the problem at that moment, but to find a burda magazine to copy all these different line shapes, as my mother didn’t keep them. Finally I dismiss this possibilty (I’m still can’t understand how they drew all those lines), and concentrate on making the poster to announce the day.
I don’t know how many of you will download it and try to print it, and how many of those will be able to trace any individual seaweed and what they could do with them… still wondering, so if any of you finish yourself drowned in paper seaweed, could be nice someone make a picture of it and share it on social media 🙂
Throughout the day at MAUD CREATIVE we will present an exhibition featuring the covers of the favourite photobooks selected by photographers from all over the country. Alongside the print of the photobook cover will be a ‘Why I like this book’ statement and a portrait of the photographer reading the book in their favourite place.
To participate in this exhibition all you need to do is contribute by sending to us the following:
A photo of your favourite photobook’s cover
A photo of you reading the book in a place special to you – in bed, a comfy chair, in the backyard under a tree, at work or in a bath!! (A photobook selfie)
A few words, a paragraph (or two) maybe, as to why you like this book
You can use any technology to make the photos and any style or no-style – keep it as simple or as complex as you like.
We will print out these photos and your statement and Blu-tacked to the gallery wall for the duration of the World Photobook Day’s activities. This material may also be formed into a print-on-demand photobook as a record of the event. The book cover images may be selected for inclusion in a photobook-making project that will take place on the day. Some images and texts may be used on social media to celebrate the event.
Should you accept our invitation we will need:
Your book cover and portrait photos
JPEGS @ 300ppi, compression ‘8’
Image size around 13x18cm
The text file can be a Microsoft Word or a text file written into the email
…and I will be running an event in Coventry which is open to as many as can fit in the room (email email@example.com ). There will be other events popping up all over the shop but right now there is something you can do.
“I saw this and thought of you” – Share your books
It is easy to excite fellow photobook nerds with the contents of my bookshelf. Much harder to interest my colleagues, family and friends who have little interest in the medium itself – though I try, often. Many times my waxing lyrical about design and production falls on deaf ears – not that this suggests a need for further discussion and education – a more powerful force is at work here. The books that resonate are those that the reader likes – straight up – likes. It might be the project, it might be the book, it might be the photographs or the cover – who cares.
When I manage to excite someone with a photobook, someone for whom the photobook is not the perfect medium of artistic expression, I have achieved something. Not only in extending the reach of the photobook, bringing work to a new audience, but also in overcoming my own photobook snobbery. I still get something from this encounter too – the book in question might have fallen out favour and found itself relegated to the edges of the shelf, but hearing someone speaking about it passionately, and unfettered by judgement helps remind me why I bought it in the first place.
So, this photobook day, spread the love by sharing something you think someone will like, not something you think they should like. Oh, and if you get a chance, let us know the book you chose and what the reaction was #PhotobookDay.
This coming October 14th World #PhotoBookDay will be celebrated! This date is a direct homage to the first known photobook: Photographs of British algae. Cyanotype impressions, by Anna Atkins. As the exact publishing date is unknown, we have taken the date that appears in the registry of the copy in British Library records.
Feel free to organise other activities for this day. We’d love you to join us in this celebration and contribute to make this date a global event by organising an action related to photobooks in your own city. As soon as you program your activity, please e-mail it to us, and we’ll post it in this website: photobookday.org.
This is the second year of this global event, in 2013 there were a nice collection of activities spread over many different countries, check them out on photobookday.org.
We know there is not much time to organise large activities, but we can propose easy actions you can take to celebrate locally this global event:
Post a #PhotoBookDaySelfie on social media: an image with you and your current favourite photobook.
Donate a self-published photobook or photozine to your nearest public library or school library. Where we can we will publish a list of public libraries accepting donations this day.
Buy a photobook. Many bookshops and publishers will make special discounts for the day. We’ll publish a list of them.
Check our map and locate your nearest activities and participate!
The inaugural World Photobook Day was instigated by the Photobook Club Madrid but quickly became a collaboration between many Photobook Club branches, publishers, bloggers, writers and photographers. The love shown by photobook enthusiasts was quite incredible and bodes well for a bigger and better event next year (mark your calendars).
To see what went on during the day, head over to www.photobookday.org or have a look at just a few highlights here:
Below is a message from Jose for those who are in the area and might be of interest:
Primero fue Niepce, después llegaron Daguerre , Bayard y Henry Fox Talbot. Sin embargo, hay un momento en la historia y una ilustre protagonista que a menudo queda en el olvido. El 14 de octubre de 1843, Anna Atkins, publicó “British Algae”, una publicación que puede ser considerada como el primer fotolibro conocido y al que con frecuencia le disputa el honor “Pencil of Nature” de H. Fox Talbot.
Hemos elegido la fecha del 170 aniversario para el lanzamiento de PHOTOBOOK CLUB ALICANTE, y para ello rendiremos justo reconocimiento a la autora británica por su pionera aportación. Con ello no hacemos más que adherirnos a otras iniciativas que rememoran el hecho.