I've made a couple of really good internet friendships via Instagram and Facebook. I've also got some people who I share a mutual admiration of work (art) with on several platforms. This post is geared mainly at those people, but hell if anyone else wants to join in I am all for that!
Back in the days before the internet people would share things called Zines. The short description of a Zine is a self-published work with a small circulation of "subscribers". It was usually put together by a single person or a few friends and then xeroxed or mimeographed and mailed to the subscribers. These are still produced and some of them are amazing works of art themselves. Check out some of the photography zines Ted Forbes shares on his YouTube channel The Art of Photography.
Now we get to my idea. First, I'm a fan of printing my photos. Something like getting them in your hand, hanging them on the wall or even better having someone else want to hang it on their wall. I've tried a couple of online printing services and have had a couple of excellent printers that I use at home. I daydream about creating some handmade books for myself of my prints, but that is something for a different post. For the purpose of this experiment I'd like to do a limited test of a book exchange. maybe up to 6 people or so who are willing to join in. You'll see why initially I want to limit participation and if there is a lot of enthusiasm for expansion I can be convinced...
One of the companies I've used to print is Artifact Uprising. They periodically offer promos for free small format prints and I've taken advantage of those as well as ordered some that I paid for. They also have a small format book (soft or hardcover) called Volumes. The books are 6.5 x 6.5" and have 50 images printed front and back plus the covers. I'll toss in the usual disclaimer here. I am not getting paid to push their product and they aren't giving me anything free. That is up to the people who decide to join in on this project with me. What I'd like to do is a book exchange with a few folks.
I've already printed my first volume and am close to curating the images for volume 2. I'm willing to print another copy of volume 1 and swap it with anyone (of the initial limited folks) who will print a volume of their work and ship it to me. I was inspired to go with this format by a couple of series of books published by Aperture and Phaidon. Both are smaller format and yet the quality of the work is not really diminished. Both are photo heavy and text light. I'll post examples of everything below.
Aperture has a series called Aperture Masters of Photography. I picked up copies of volume 1 and 6 recently. They are 8x8" and 95 or so pages printed on just one side. Just the images without text and then followed by an index with details for the images at the end of the book. The series is called Phaiden 55 and goes a little further afield than the Aperture series. Phaidon's series is a smaller format. 6x6" Pages are not numbered and I can't be bothered to count, but feels like around 100 pages or so also. These books all have a small introduction and each facing page includes text related to the image to the right.
Artifact Uprising Volumes fit with this format and are priced at $24.95 including shipping. I'm very happy with the quality and would love to get this ball rolling. I've got one person who is on board and if that is as far as it goes I'll call it a success. A brief explanation of how volumes work. You install the Artifact Uprising app on your phone, create an account and use an album on your phone to place the photos you want to include in the book. Once you reach 50 photos you are ready to go. They have two versions of the book available. The cheaper, softcover version is what I propose we go with. When you hit 50 the app lets you order the photos so you can organize (or not) the final output. You pull the trigger in the app, they charge you, print and ship. I'll be getting the books shipped to me and then shipping them to whoever wants to swap with whatever else I feel like tossing in the package.
There it is, message me on Instagram or Facebook if you are interested.