• Digital Era – Information
  • Look for information through ‘linked digital devices’
  • Digital natives born into it but don’t necessarily understand it

How does this translate for books?

  • Information is King
  • We have the ability to find, share, edit, copy and produce information – but we can’t do that with books – it is difficult to share the information in a book without showing the person exactly what you are talking about.
  • Books only purpose is to be read – can’t do nothing else
  • We used lined digital devices
  • Convergence culture
  • ‘A book is a sequence of spaces. Each of these spaces is perceived at a different moment’
  • Images and books are rectangular because that is easier for distribution
  • Quote Dick Higgins
  • Difference between photography book and photo-book – the photo book is an artefact in itself. The photography book is a collection

Hans – Georg Gadamer – Horizons

  • First ‘Horizon’ we have is the Artists Horizon – Vision/ Ideas/ Agenda
  • Viewers ‘Horizon’ – Shaped by ‘past experiences’, what we have seen/ upbringing/ personal pros/ personal cons/ likes/dislikes/ memory/ knowledge/ experience
  • When the viewer sees the artists work those horizons fuse – we want to understand the artist point of view, we want to see what they see.
  • Horizons – our presentation choices must reinforce the communication of our message or theme
  • We don’t want to confuse/ isolate the viewer, so our point must be clear
  •  Nobuyoshi Araki ‘Sentimental Journey + Winter Journey’ – personal and sad
  • The book is in a slip case and is hardback – cumbersome to carry around, can’t read on train – invites you to sit down with the book and almost share the intimacy in the way it was intended.
  • Broken Manual, Special Edition Alec Sloth, Steidl, 2010 – book about hermits and monks and homeless – book is hidden inconspicuously within another book.

What will the photo book have to do to survive in the digital age?

  • What is bad about photo books?
  • Cost, Distribution, ease of production, time, space, storage
  • You can have hundreds of books on your phone in the digital age
  • What is good about photo books?
  • A photo book is self-contained artefact, it will always work, you can always read it, experience, generative. It cannot be taken out of context unlike online objects in the digital age.
  • Kevin Kelly – better than free – Generative qualities – we need to find things that people value – people value what can’t be copied, can’t be replicated digital – generative qualities
  • Embodiment Quote –
  • People do not want to rebel against the digital world, but we want to embrace qualities like getting together to read books. New books (not just photo books) are being designed to be more generative – more beautiful artefacts.
  • Indie photo-book library
  • Self – publishing scene challenges what a book can be
  • Craig Atkinson: Bits – low edition personalised ‘books’ that are all completely different
  • Digital age allows us to discuss books with thousands of different people.
  • Few people are making money from books, but books are doing very, very well. It isn’t about making money, it is about getting people to see something and making a point.
  • ‘Our Age of Anxiety is, in great part, the result of trying to do todays job with yesterday’s tools and yesterday’s concept.’ – Marshall McLuhan
  • Books can’t be updated, digital books can.
  • ‘Between Page and Screen’ digital book.

One Purpose for the present is to see what alternative forms and materials ‘the book’ can take: can it be a pack of shuffle able cards? Can it be a long folded accordion strip? Can it have two front covers and be ‘read’ in both directions? Can it be a single chart? An audiotape? A Videotape?

NFB – Welcome to Pine Point

– Pinepoint.nf

– Not a digital book but a digital publication?

Directed Study


4 people per book, sell me the book in 4 minutes (15 mins prep)

–        Generative qualities

–        Narrative/ sequencing

–        Concept

–        Before/after

My Part to Research and Talk about: Generative Qualities


–        The book invites you to sit and pull it out of a protective case – what you are about to view is unnerving and isn’t something that can just be displayed anywhere.

–        The cover is made of just simple cardboard and the book itself is made of very thin paper. It is cheap and very simply bound

–        The front covers material is like wallpaper, and looking through the photographs you can see that the paper for the front cover is the same and the wallpaper in the background of some of his photographs. This helps draw you in to the atmosphere and situations he is laying out for you.

–        ‘Weber and publisher Schilt also made the decision to bind it in the same wallpaper stock that hangs on the wall behind many of the detainees. Weber has come to see the modern State as “a primitive and bloody sacrificial rite of unnamed Power.” The choice of the outmoded wallpaper is an unnerving nod to the Power of a throwback era and brings us closer to the outmoded policing within these outmoded spaces.’