A few short months ago I was involved in the creation of a truly inspiring project. The idea, redefine the book and redefine who can author can be. A partnership with Uk creative studio Jotta, an open call for submissions, A LOT of work done by a team of people, both in the United States and the UK, and the plan began to take form. The process continues as I write this.
The final showdown will come in the form of an exhibition at White Chapel in London. I will not be there, but others from Blurb will, and the Jotta team will be in attendance as well. What is the point of all this? Simple. Improvise, adapt, overcome, inspire and share. Yes, I’m stealing the first part of that from the Marine Corps, but it rings true here as well.
James Cuddy and Roma Levin, UK designers and artists.
When this entire program started we held events in London, New York and San Francisco, and basically invited a range of brilliant artists/speakers to show us what they do and why they do it. Audiences were stunned that Blurb would do something like this. To pay for a series of events that were to inspire people to stop thinking like the clock reads 1975 and begin to see the idea of a book in new ways.
This is one of the reasons why I love working for this company. We do stuff like this. “Don’t think…FEEEEEEL,” is what Bruce Lee said. I totally agree. One of the biggest mistakes I see photographers making is creating books they think they are supposed to make and not those they might WANT to make. Something different. Something strange. Something that causes a viewer to pause and consider. This is a GOOD thing especially in an age when “bite size” is the description is the term used to describe our attention span.
As you will see, the folks who are contributing here are artists. This was not a photography book program, this was about redefining something that has an integral and storied place in the history of our species. The contributors work with language, imagery, motion, sound and light. In short, they have come up with some incredible pieces.
I’ve included links to several of the stories written about this project, in a variety of languages, so pick your poison. I’ve also included several portraits I made of the speakers who presented at the launch events. Stay tuned for this material to be released on the Unbinding the Book site.