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PHOTOBOOK ANXIETY – A paper by Doug Spowart

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What follows is a transcript of the paper presented at the ‘Borderless Futures: Reimaging the Citizen’ Symposium as part of the 2015 Ballarat International Foto Biennale. Selected images from the presentation accompany the text to illustrate concepts raised. The text is relatively conversational as it was ‘performed’ rather than read to the audience.

 

 

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PHOTOBOOK ANXIETY… a paper by Dr Doug Spowart

 

I doubt that Henry Fox Talbot or Anna Atkins realised in the 1840s what an impact that the photobook would have in the 21st century and the role it plays in the self-publishing revolution that we are witnessing today. The old publishing and bookselling paradigm is now redefining itself and trying to maintain its composure and power over their once lucrative territory. Now every photographer wants and can make their own books – but they need the inspiration found in the latest photobooks and they need to be kept informed by the movers and shakers of the discipline as to what is happening now, and what are the future trends and opportunities.

As a result there is a heightened anxiety for constant and direct personal connection with the pulse of this worldwide phenomena. Social media is the communication vehicle of choice and participants in the photobook network are driven to frenetically seek updates, reviews, new releases, posts about their books and the latest gossip through social media channels.

The anxiety surrounding this activity is palpable and the frisson of social media, particularly Facebook, is the powerful tool for this necessary communication as well as for community building in the burgeoning indie publishing photobooks movement.

 

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Welcome to ‘Photobook Anxiety’ otherwise known by its clinical title PBX. It is driven by the sufferer having an uncontrollable desire to be a part of everything photobook happening in the world. It is characterised by the sufferer constantly checking social media –

What are the signs that of those suffering from this malady?

 

Wishing I could be there…

There are so many events that happen worldwide it’s impossible to get to all of them let alone one. In a recent Facebook newsfeed the frustrated respondent posted ‘Oh I would freaking kill to be there…”

A sampling of the year’s calendar includes these events:

  • Photobook Melbourne February
  • Art Book Melbourne – May
  • Photo London – May
  • Auckland Festival of Photography (Photobook Symposium) – May
  • Kassel Foto Book Festival – June
  • Obscura Festival of Photography (Photobook Day) – August
  • Perimeter book sale last weekend
  • Book Case Study in the Netherlands – September
  • Aperture at Photo Paris – November

 

I should have bought a copy of…. Out-of-print/Limited editions/pre-orders

 

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Trent Parke’s Dream Life, probably Australia’s greatest ever photobook, is an excellent example of a rare and out-of-print photobook. Originally selling for around $60 in 2001 it is now is impossible to get for prices less that 25 times that amount.

One was listed on Amazon recently for 1550 Pounds?

Earlier this year one was offered in a Photoeye’s Auction – with a day to go it was $ 895 I did not see the final hammer price…

Last year Abebooks listed one for $1084 in this very town (Ballarat) – I’ve just checked and the Known World Bookshop down the street and they have sold the book.

 

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Limited Editions and Pre-Ordering

Adding to this PMX is the trend particularly among American photobook suppliers like Photo-Eye to advertise limited supplies of signed books which can be ‘pre-ordered’ with specific cut-off times and dates. Even these can be out-sold before you hear about the offer being available as in the case recently with Sally Mann’s Hold Still.

Recently Australian Bloom Publishing offered little badges with the text ‘Print Forever’ as white text on a black background. These were ‘snapped-up’ and a following post Bloom advised that the badges were ‘all gone’! But advised FB Friends to ‘Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks’. PMX now demands that Bloom is followed closely so you won’t miss out on the following offers….

 

You anxiously await the posts and stories of people you follow…

Who hasn’t been following the exploits of photobook officiando Sam Harris and his latest book The Middle of Somewhere. Sam’s posts have taken us a long on the journey illustrated by images that could well form the basis of a new book. As FB friends we saw the posted images of the design stages and felt his excitement at seeing the book on bookshelves at major European shows and being on a table at Arles with the book. The anguish of the missing visa to re-enter Australia and the joy of being back in Australia and the Balingup sunset at home… Oh! And the set up for his exhibition and book launch by Alasdair Foster at BIFB…

 

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You anxiously await the posts about new stuff…

FB Friends – People who you respect and believe know what’s going on offer advice on books to look at, and get before they are sold out. Adding to PBX phrases like ‘Look what I got today from Photoeye, Alejandro Cartagena’s latest book. It will be gone before you know it’ and ‘Holy moly!!! If you can get your hands on a copy of Mariela Sancari’s brilliant ‘Moises’, do it now. Only 500 copies.’

A couple of days ago Anita Totha from the Photobook Club Auckland posted that Broomberg+Chanarin’s latest book was available: ‘Better get your hands on this now…’. Even Bloom has a new pin — gotta get that! And what about Martin Parr badged clothing and accessories … could that be going a bit far…?

 

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You lament the gaps you’ve identified in your collection!

PBX will cause ‘sufferers’ go to extraordinary lengths to try and fill them… An ‘Ask Meta Filter poster exclaims ‘Help me get my hands on Trent Parke. I mean, his books. It’s driving me mental. I must get Trent Parke’s “Dream Life” and “Seventh Wave” … Replies state the value of the book with responses like ‘Ouch’, ‘And no Dream/Life to be found. Snif’

In another post on ‘The Online Blog’ Kelvin, a respondent from Melbourne, brags about ‘poking his head’ into a second hand bookshop on the way to buying some biscuits from his local Subway store and asked if they had a copy of Dream Life ––– they did, and sold it to him for $70

 

So busy trying to be ‘in it’ you have no time for your own work

Doug Stockdale of The Photobook blog recently posted ‘a change to my photobook commentaries’. He’s overwhelmed by the ‘dizzying rate’ of new photobooks and the quality and creativity of these books. Stockdale comments that they need ‘a shout out to the photographic community at large to increase awareness’ and that is what his blog attempts to do. However he’s finding that there’s not enough time for his own projects so he announced a a more ‘concise’ Facebook format for the blog in future posts…

 

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Just how pervasive is PBX?

 

Using SM for personal communications

A few days before Mothers Day this year a Brisbane acquaintance received notification that Ciaran Og Arnold’s ‘I went to the worst of bars…’ book was available in a bookshop in Amsterdam – She posted ‘I want this for Mother’s Day’ Her partner responded in less than an hour – ‘You got it’. Weeks later she triumphantly able to post that the book has arrived.

 

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That you know the picture backgrounds for each photobook commentator’s blogs…

Every photobook supplier, commentator, collector or archive has a standard background that is used for his or her social media presence:

Perimeter Books in Melbourne has the shop-view, sometimes with a table of books with Justine or Emma’s hand.

The Indie Photobook Library is the tabletop and a MAC laptop computer keyboard

Asia Pacific Photobook Archive used a knotted wood plank background for quite a while then, the floor of their old space and then confused us all by using every background imaginable.

 

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Can’t walk past a second-hand bookshop – or bookshop markdown table without feeling a twinge to look inside

The anticipation of being rewarded with wondrous things is such a strong motivator

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Spending more than you can afford building your library

The anxiety of photobook collectors was certainly shaken by a FB post from the State Library of Victoria about Karl Largerfield’s personal library. I suppose it comes down to getting one’s priorities right when it comes to collecting and personal finances.

 

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Gotta make sure I’ve got the dates of the next Art Book Fair locked-in to my diary

Were you one of the 16,000 who went to the Melbourne Art Book Fair? If you weren’t there you probably heard and read about how amazing it was. Now you don’t want to miss out on the next one… Well, the ‘Sydney Volume 2015 – Another Art Book Fair’ is on in 2 weeks…

 

Lifeline book sales are marked on your calendar

 

The Benjamin Effect!!

Photobook collectors will feel a connection with Walter Benjamin and his essay on ‘I’m unpacking my library’. In it he states ‘Of the customary modes of acquisition, one of the most appropriate to a collector would be the borrowing of a book with its attendant non-returning.’[i]

But there are ways more desperate than that – stealing books. A significant photobook identity recently admitted that his last resort to save his favourite book from being held in library limbo by committing an act of ‘Bibliokleptomania’.

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Benjamin also has something that any PBX sufferer can take heed of and that is: ‘Of all the ways of acquiring books, writing them oneself is regarded as the most praiseworthy method.’[ii] And that must inspire those inflicted with PBX to go and make a book of their own…

 

Antidotes / To Feed or Cure

  • Reviewing your social media strategy – set your FB preferences to ensure you get ‘Notifications’ and that your selected ‘Friends’ are listed as ‘Family’;
  • De-friend people who post what they ate for breakfast or pics of their cat – unless the cat is reading a book!   (FB Friend Judy Barass posted this as a response to this point);
  • Find new FB Friends – sources of quality information – like Harvey Benge, Stockdale’s The Photobook Blog, Foam, Dazedigital.com, Selfpublishbehappy.com, and Remote Photobooks for what’s happening in New Zealand;
  • Develop equity in social media: Giving = Getting. That is ‘Like’ things that you like, ‘Comment’ and ‘Share’ things adding your own comment to make it interesting for you FB Friends;
  • Don’t just ‘lurk’ on FB otherwise things that you may be interested in will disappear from your Newsfeed as FB may think that you to not engage with the content;
  • Looking at allied book disciplines like artists’ books and zines;
  • Sharing your books – I’ll give you mine if you give me yours. I’ll buy yours if you buy mine;
  • Donate and contribute to photobook archives like the Indie Photobook Archive and the Asia Pacific Photobook Archive;
  • Grow your local – connect with events and people doing things in your region;
  • Lobby art institutions, libraries and criticism networks for more photobook content; and
  • Become an active advocate for photobooks.

 

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In conclusion

Ultimately it’s hopeless and PBX sufferer must give in to their base desires and needs and participate with energy, vigour and indifference to other aspects of your life….

 

Finally: A thought from John Waters…..

 

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Thank You – And – SEE YOU ONLINE….

 

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Benjamin, Walter. “Unpacking My Library: A Talk About Book Collecting.” Translated by Harry Zohn. In Illuminations, 69-82. New York: Schocken Books, 2007. Reprint, Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1968.

[i] Benjamin, Walter. “Unpacking My Library: A Talk About Book Collecting.” Translated by Harry Zohn. In Illuminations, 69-82. New York: Schocken Books, 2007. Reprint, Harcourt, Brace & World, New York, 1968. P62

[ii] ibid p61

 

 

COOPER+SPOWART NOCTURNES: International Year of Light

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IYL - Logo

IYL – Logo

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2015 is the INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF LIGHT – Our Nocturne projects celebrate light and this year at the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre we are showing a major exhibition entitled NOCTURNE MUSWELLBROOK: Revisited.

 

 

Nocturne Muswellbrook: Reflections on Light

 

As the sun goes down and the last light fades–cars pass by with commuters heading home for respite at the end of a days work or others just embarking on a nights work. Trucks move through the town with little thought for the places they pass through. People meet and have a conversation…. The street lights come on one by one up the street. The illuminated advertising signage lights the buildings along with the internal lights of the building.

This transition from daylight to night is rhythmical–a diurnal phenomenon–but one that is also pervaded with the uncanny or un-homely sense of place. At nocturne and into the night everyday places change, becoming mysterious as the shadows replace familiar surrounds. A sense of melancholy also grows with the passing of the day–a lament born from the relentlessness of change.

Yet these ephemeral moments can also be seductive and evocative, experiencing the aesthetics of the nocturne can inspire new imaginings of everyday places. The colour and chiaroscuro compositions of light and shadow replace the tired and indifferent prose of daily life. A magical narrative evolves from the personal memories of a shared living history in these laneways, streets, buildings and spaces.

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A selection of Nocturne Muswellbrook: Revisited images

A selection of Nocturne Muswellbrook: Revisited images

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COOPER+SPOWART NOCTURNE PROJECTS

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Cooper+Spowart Nocturne shadow

For many years we have engaged in nocturne projects. These have included artists in residency programs in the regional galleries of Muswellbrook, Grafton, Bundaberg and Miles as well as self-funded projects across east coast Australia. The Artist in Residence (AIR) projects are associated with a Facebook page to connect the community with the photographs and evoke stories about the places photographed.

A sample of community Facebook responses can be seen here:

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Nocturne AIR Projects include workshops, mentoring in photography, image enhancement, social media as well as photobook and zine making. Future Nocturne Projects are in the planning stage and we seek expressions of interest from communities looking to participating in a Nocturne light project.

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Participating community members from the Nocturne Miles Project

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A link to a collective of NOCTURNE PROJECTS can be found: HERE

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THE BACK STORY: Nocturne Muswellbrook

 

 

The Nocturne Muswellbrook Facebook page was launched in June 2013

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From 23rd June we began a 2week Artist in Residence in Muswellbrook. Our studio was a vacant shop in the Campbell’s Corner building fronting onto the main street, Bridge Street

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Our gallery and workspace

We set up our digital studio workspace to:

  • Master the nocturne photographs for the Facebook page
  • Print out the mastered images for a small display in the shop
  • Greet anyone that wanted to come by and share their story about Muswellbrook
  • Prepare for the evening’s shooting around the town

 

Photographing a coal train from the Bell Street bridge

Photographing a coal train from the Bell Street bridge

Each night and day, once the images were uploaded onto the Nocturne Muswellbrook page we invited everyone to tell their stories about each place photographed. We were excited to engage with the community and a deeper knowledge and experience of Muswellbrook through this process.

 

An early FB Cover

An early FB Cover

 

Many people that visited the page were once residents of Muswellbrook but now live in other parts of Australia and some were international expats. The number of ‘Page LIKES’ grew quickly – today the number stands @ 620. There was a pride and a melancholy for this once rural town. Some stories were full of humour and the irony of the Aussie yarn. While others shared poignant moments of their lives from the memories evoked by the photographs.

 

Video projection on MRAC wall

Video projection on MRAC wall

We also created a Youtube video that was uploaded and premiered at our artists talk held in the Muswellbrook Regional Arts Centre on the July 5. In evening we projected our images as a visual performance on the outside of the Gallery for public viewing and to extend the experience of the nocturne project.

Even though our 2 weeks in residence had come to an end on July 6, we still continued to connect with the Facebook page: uploading images and connecting them with the community’s stories.

 

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Exhibition invite

 

Vicky arranging the hang copy

Vicky arranging the hang

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The MRAC exhibition space

 

In 2015 we came back to show an exhibition of the work on the walls of the Gallery. The Sunday after the opening we presented a workshop for participants wanted to upskill or engage with how we captured and mastered these nocturnal images.

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Workshop at the MRAC

 

Now the works are on the wall for all to come and see… and we are inviting anyone who visits to write down their story and place on the wall next to the image. The gallery is now a physical “Facebook page”. We look forward to seeing your written stories on the walls of the gallery.

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2013: with Silvana & Roger-MRAC AIR Coordinator ….. 2015 with Elissa, Jade and MRAC Director Brad…………………..

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Printing with ILFORD Galerie GOLD SILK papers

Printing with ILFORD Galerie GOLD SILK papers

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We want to express our thanks to the MRAC Team, Roger Skinner, ILFORD papers and Maud Gallery.

 

 

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SONNETS IN THREADED CODE: Amelia Dowe Tapestries

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Gallery 'pop-up' sign

Gallery ‘pop-up’ sign

 

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Invitation

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Even though I had studied Shakespeare the traditional way through the analysis of language and the marginalia of the second-hand “reader” along with viewing the Macbeth movie, this knowledge would not be of use in the ‘reading’ of Ameila Dowe’s pop-up exhibition, Sonnets.

My initial impression was that the show had the appearance of a display of Buddhist prayer flags. Colourful squares of material were hand embroidered geometric pattern using contrasting coloured silk threads. Each piece was unframed and attached loosely to a wooden rod in a line along the walls. An embroidery frame was installed in a corner with a work-in-progress to show the artist’s process. Dowe also had a display of work from the opening where the community connected with her process, through drawing on paper.

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In the gallery space

In the gallery space

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The embroidered pattern mapped the haptic pathway taken when the keypad of a low tech mobile phone spells a line from one of Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Each stitch sewn into the fabric is a kind of meditation where the hand making slows the reading of the poetry into a reflective and abstract visual space and place.

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Explanation of the code

Explanation of the code

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This is an intriguing hybrid concept: as the reader then follows the hand sewn tracks isolating each line and recontextualising the poetic nature of the Sonnets. The use of contrasting and complimentary colours engages with the viewer’s psychological and sensory apperception: a memory–an association with everyday items (napery or clothing) and their use. Yet in these seemingly simple colourful patterns there is an intellectual discourse.

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97/6  The teeming autumn, big with rich increase  (2013)

97/6 The teeming autumn, big with rich increase (2013)

 

For me this work represents a visual question of nature of haptics, language and communication; poetry and representation; technology and obsolescence. This work fits within an emergent interest in data visualization where artists are reinterpreting data and technological information within a visual and sensorial context. An example of work arguably aligned with Dowe’s can be seen in the work of Stephan Thiel (see http://www.stephanthiel.com ).

Amelia Dowe has produced on one level seductively delicate and simple work but as I engaged with the art and its Shakespearean references, I found myself drawn into other worlds of ‘reading’ through a kind of synesthetic experience of literature.

Victoria Cooper

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Some more images from the show by Doug Spowart

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In the gallery

In the gallery

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In the gallery space

Code work done by gallery visitors on opening night

Code work done by gallery visitors on opening night

Dove's embroidery frame

Dowe’s embroidery frame

98/10  A third not red nor white had stol'n of both  (2012)

98/10 A third not red nor white had stol’n of both (2012)

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BUNDABERG: A New Nocturne Community Project

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NOCTURNE BUNDABERG: Stage One of a new community project concept

Vicky and Doug go tropical (shirts anyway) in Bundaberg

Vicky and Doug go tropical (shirts anyway) in Bundaberg

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We’ve been in Bundaberg this week (January 5-12)doing preliminary work on a new concept in our nocturne work. Here is the overview of the project:

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In April 2014 Bundaberg Regional Galleries will be hosting an artist in residency program with artists Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart. An exhibition of their Nocturne work including new images from this region will be on show at CHARTS Gallery at Childers during April in conjunction with the Queensland Festival of Photography 5. The artists will be also working on their next Nocturne photodocumentary project, entitled Nocturne Bundaberg Region. As with the previous Nocturne Muswellborook and Nocturne Grafton projects the photographs they make will be posted on the Nocturne Bundaberg Region Facebook page so that communities can connect with the project, and importantly, share their stories about each place.

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Talking with Trudie Leigo - Exhibitions Officer @ Bundaberg Regional

Talking with Trudie Leigo – Exhibitions Officer @ Bundaberg Regional

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To extend the community’s connection with the project, Victoria and Doug will be working with a small group of photographers from across the Bundaberg Regional Council area to be contributors to the image-making part of the project. The participants will be selected using an EOI process that will be launched on the project’s Facebook page by the end of the month. Successful applicants will be advised in mid-March and they’ll attend a workshop in specialist aspects of nocturnal photography, image enhancement and the safety considerations for this work. After attending the workshop the local photographers will have an opportunity to add their images to the project’s Facebook page. Preferably, applicants should be 18 or over. Other community members may be invited to post images as well.

Any community member or person who has stories inspired by the photographs can post comments to the Facebook page..

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The Nocturne Bundaberg Region’s Facebook page images, as well as the community conversation derived from the project, may be incorporated in other outcomes including exhibitions or publications associated with the project. A selection of images may go into the Picture Bundaberg Archive.

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Nocturne Bundaberg Logo

Nocturne Bundaberg Logo

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All photographs © 2014 Cooper+Spowart  for the Nocturne Bundaberg community documentation project

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/au/

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WOTWEDID Blog: 2013 in review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Written by Cooper+Spowart

December 31, 2013 at 5:20 pm

COOPER+SPOWART to talk @ Cobb+Co Museum Dec 13

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The Roundabout Clocktower from Weiley's Hotel balcony

The Roundabout Clocktower from Weiley’s Hotel balcony

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CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON THE COBB+CO WEBSITE

CLICK HERE TO BOOK ON THE COBB+CO WEBSITE

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In the Dark Room with… Cooper+Spowart

In this talk we will discuss a number of topics and including:

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Attendees may wish to conclude their night activities @ Cobb+Co with a visit to the nearby Christmas Wonderland Spectacular in Queens Park

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St James' Catholic Church

St James’ Catholic Church

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Outside the Grafton Hotel

The Subway – The Nocturne Muswellbrook Project

The Subway – The Nocturne Muswellbrook Project

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VIEW A VIDEO OF THE ICONS SHOW FEATURING THE PHOTOGRAPHERS

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TO BOOK THE EVENT

http://www.shop.qm.qld.gov.au/cobbandco/in-the-dark-room-with-doug-and-victoria.html

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Cobb+Co Museum - Icons on Icons

Cobb+Co Museum – Icons on Icons

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NOCTURNE GRAFTON PROJECT: Fieldwork Concludes

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Promotional Card

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We have just finished our artists-in-residence at the Grafton Regional Gallery. It was an amazing month and a wonderful opportunity to engage with the community and create art!

Artists in Residency programmes are an important opportunity to break out of the home/studio/teaching role routine to exchange or explore new ideas in a totally different environment.  We consider our time in these residencies as essential to our practice; it transforms how we work and brings fresh ideas into our work. Integral to our projects is the immersion in each place and connecting with community and local narratives of place. Our time in Grafton was a remarkable: the community, its everyday stories and the imposing presence of the Clarence River all contributed inspiration for our creative work.

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Doug photographing under the Pound Street viaduct

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Our project was to create images of local places that to us visually evoked a narrative.  The places were selected from our exploration of the town, researching local knowledge, and conversations with people we met.  We sought places that were best illuminated by nocturnal light (late afternoon and early evening light).  This light only lasts around 30 to 60 minutes, but its transformation of everyday places can be powerfully evocative. Our work in this time is intense and our awareness of the visual qualities of different spaces is deepened. The history and lived experience embedded in each place seems to ‘speak’ and we ‘listen’.

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A comparison - Nocturne and daylight of the same subject

A comparison – Nocturne and daylight of the same subject

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Facebook page

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After each shoot we return to our residence to reflect, select and optimize our visual reconnaissance of nocturnal Grafton to then upload and ‘share’ online through Facebook and a blog. Through this sharing of our work we connected with a community and their stories in each place. Personal and historical accounts of these places brought our images to life. For us, this is where the art that exists – between our initial inspiration and local lived experiences.

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The LINK Shoppingworld gallery

The LINK Shoppingworld gallery

A nocturne shoot-out with the Grafton Camera Club

A nocturne shoot-out with the Grafton Camera Club

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To extend the exchange that was integral to our project we also were involved in artists’ talks for schools, and other visitors to the Grafton Regional Gallery. We set up and attended two small displays of our ongoing work: one in the gallery and another in a vacant shop at the LINK arcade in the main shopping precinct. Doug and I had a very dear friend, Charlie Snook, who was a strong supporter and participant of the local camera club. So it was important for us to be able to connect with this enthusiastic group of photographers. We gave an evening talk, shared two of our nocturne shoots as photographic outings and judged their current assignment work. It was privilege to be invited to their 50th anniversary dinner held on the last weekend of our residency and a great way to finish our time in Grafton.

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The C.R.A.P.y artist book team

The C.R.A.P.y artist book team

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We organized an activity to involve local and regional artists as well as a Brisbane arts professional in a collaborative artists’ book project. Under the auspices of the Centre for Regional Arts Practice, an organization created and coodinated by us, we held an activity over the weekend of September 21and 22. This collaborative event produced 60 copies of the C.R.A.P. Artist’s Survey Number 15, the theme of this survey was ‘the regional arts worker as a nomad’. Copies were shared amongst the participants while some were then set aside for donation to major collections including: The Grafton Regional Gallery and the State Library of Queensland.

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The Daily Examiner newspaper coverage

The Daily Examiner newspaper coverage

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We were excited by the considerable support of and interest in our project from Grafton’s newspaper, The Daily Examiner, publishing separate stories, a front-page photograph and a weekend feature.  Support also came from Senator Ursula Stephens shared the page and added ‘Grafton is the great Jacaranda city on the NSW north coast and the Nocturne Project is a wonderful example of celebrating local landmarks and building community identity. Love it!’ – was also an unexpected acknowledgement of our project. We visited the Grafton Historical Society and found a treasure of knowledge and information together with a willingness to assist in our research.

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The Roundabout Clocktower from Weiley's Hotel balcony

The Roundabout Clocktower from Weiley’s Hotel balcony

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Some information on the Facebook component of the project: www.facebook.com/nocturnegrafton

During the month of September the project had 410 page ‘Likes’ and achieved a total viral reach of around 65,000 people. 65% of the Nocturne Grafton fan base were women (the Facebook average is 46%). The main engaged age group were women 25-34 years @ 17% of the total (the FB Average is 12%). The most popular post was the Clocktower roundabout from Weiley’s Balcony, which attracted 4,500 views and 274 likes, 37 comments and 44 shares (some of the reach was boosted). Interpretation of Facebook analytics is an interesting task and one that we will be reviewing over the next few weeks.  We will maintain the Facebook page as a place for continued conversation.

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Jude McBean, Vicky, Cher Breeze & Doug

Jude McBean, Vicky, Cher Breeze & Doug

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At all times during our residency an energetic and professional team, Jude McBean GRG Director, Cher Breeze, Avron Thompson and many dedicated volunteers at the Grafton Art Gallery provided valuable assistance, advice and stories. With the vision and support of the Gallery the residency was for us a transforming experience and our time at Grafton Art Gallery was highly productive.

And a BIG thank you to all our Facebook Friends who supported the project by their ‘Likes’, ‘Comments’ and ‘Shares’.

The final visual outcome for the project will be in the form of the continued online presence, artists/photo books and exhibition of image work. These artworks will reflect on the collaboration between our photographs, the social media project and the Grafton community.

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Going home on the last night of the residency…

 

Some comments from our Facebook friends at the conclusion of the project:

Peter Hunter OAM, ARPS, AFIAP: Victoria and Doug. I am really impressed with your photographs of Grafton at dusk. Your very impressive skill at taking a very ordinary subject and creating a great photo from it by using super composition, creative evening light and long exposure has resulted in a wonderful collection. I hope that they will be archived for posterity.

Marlene Szepsy: I have really enjoyed your way of sharing and bringing art to the community. A great artists in residence project. Thank you.

Louise Kirby: You have been wonderful AIR’s and I am so glad you came and shared your beautiful photography, your skills and your enthusiasm …

Adam Hourigan: pleasure meeting you guys. The photos make Facebook a much brighter place

Vanessa Collins: thanks for the way you have shown our beautiful town, can’t wait for the exhibition and the book

Stephanie Haines: Thank you for the beautiful photos… they made us all look at our town in a new way.

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© 2013 Victoria Cooper and Doug Spowart for The Nocturne Grafton Project

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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