I have spent the last couple of months working on the Reconnections: Walking Wellington project. This is based on my walking Wellington around the time of Photobooks/NZ in 2018 and on my previous visits. These visits were designed for me to walk Wellington.
It has initially been constructed in the form of a Tumblr blog. The blog is here and the project starts from the bottom of p. 4. The impetus for the project was Photoforum NZ’s recent open call for submissions for their online gallery (images of the project only), and then their call for submissions the form of a pdf for their publications programme (text plus images).
The blog was the easiest way for me to construct the project fragment by fragment, and it is also provides an accessible way for people to see the project in its embryonic form. The picture below is an outtake from the project:
If these submissions are not successful– I am assuming that they wont be, given both the nature of publishing in Australia and New Zealand and the strength and creativity of photography in New Zealand —then I have the basic draft for a new photobook. This time around I will submit the pdf to various book publishers. If I am not successful, then, and only then, will I consider publishing it on my own. I do need to explore the submissions route and experience the normal series of rejections.
I am really working blind on producing photobooks.
My guide up to now has been the ones that I have previously published, and these have been lo fi, produced with limited resources and selected input from editors, designers and printers. I have decided to see what is happening in the world of photobooks by going to the finals of the 2019 ANZ Photo book Awards at the CCP in Melbourne in mid-March and checking out the 2019 Melbourne Art Book Fair at the NGV at the same time.
The Reconnections: Walking Wellington photobook is more conceptual than my previous ones. The book is envisioned as text on the left side and image on the right side of the open page, thereby stepping away from the form of the photobook as primarily a collection of images. This type of photobook was what Mallee Routes: Photographing the Mallee 2018 was. I submitted it to the 2019 ANZ Photobook Awards, but it failed to make the final. It would not have been original enough in terms of the form of photobooks.
The Reconnections photobook, in contrast, is more conceptual as it has a triadic structure, there is a text with each image, and the text consists of a mixture of memories and theory based on the ideas of the Situationists.I have no idea how it would compare with other photobooks, hence the need to make the Melbourne visit to see what made the final of the 2019 ANZ Photobook Awards and the tables of self-publishing photobook artists at the Melbourne Art Book Fair.
Photoforum NZ has accepted the Reconnections submission to their open call for submissions for their online gallery (images of the project only). Geoff Short, the director and co-managing editor, suggested a Wellington based writer —Andy Spain— to write about the images in the online gallery. I have accepted, but I have yet to hear from Geoff whether or not Andy has accepted the writing gig.
I have not heard from Photoforum NZ with respect to their call for submissions the form of a pdf for their publications programme (text plus images).