Publishing with Intent: The Photobook from Maker to Reader with Matt Johnston
2021 July 14-28, Wednesdays 1-4pm EST (6-9pm GMT), Same-time Online only
Publishing with Intent: The Photobook from Maker to Reader is a three-part workshop with specific themes week-to-week:
A Spherical Approach to the Photobook
Wednesday July 14, 1-4pm EST (6-9pm GMT)
In this first session the photobook and the publishing of photography on the page will be considered in a holistic manner. The class will look to break down the photobook into constituent parts, purposes and actors, beginning with existing publications before moving onto their own. The concept of ‘spheres’ of publishing will be introduced to aid production of work which seeks to resonate with readers in specific, and even separate, audiences. Students will be asked to share their work in session and receive questions, feedback and advice from the class.
Acts of Amplification
Wednesday July 21, 1-4pm EST (6-9pm GMT)
This session focuses on the making public aspect of publishing, considering the significant potentiality of the photobook as well as some inherent pitfalls and limitations of the medium. The class will review several works and the ways in which they have been amplified, comparing this with how the projects have been situated in relation to a purpose of publishing. Students will work to populate their plans for publishing with specific and conscious acts of amplification that seek not only to extend the reach of their work, but activate it in particular contexts too.
Addressing the Fixity and Finality of the Book
Wednesday July 28, 1-4pm EST (6-9pm GMT)
The final session will see a discussion of the ways in which the fixity and finality of book publishing can be addressed in relation to specific intentions of making work public. Strategies for re-contextualising, re-situating and re-energising book works will be put forward, before time is provided for students to share progress with the class. As the last session, students will leave with a considered plan for their next steps in imagining, or re-imagining their projects in book form.
Requirements: To get the most out of these sessions, participants should either be working towards, or intending to work towards, a photographic publication of sorts.
Matt Johnston is a photographer, academic and editor with a research and pedagogical focus on the life of the photobook beyond publication. In 2010 Matt founded The Photobook Club, a worldwide community of readers that has informed numerous projects with photobooks — from events and publications to workshops and festivals.