simuloid # 2 ~ meaningful communication

(embiggenable) • iPhone

(embiggenable) • iPhone

My tizzy state of mind has mellowed considerably but that's no reason not finish up my 3rd tizzyness installment so ....

Coincidentally, Mike Johnston's recent TOP entry, Print to Save, kinda pulled his chestnuts out of the fire relative to my final stuck-in-my-craw entry. That is, in Johnston's entry, Changin' Times (which incited my tizzyness), he wrote that "....making a Blurb book, fun and satisfying as it might be, isn't really what I mean by "a book."

In the context of his entry, "a book" is one that is printing-press printed in numbers of 3K+. Such a book is/was "...the primary way photographers communicate" their work to the world-or a 3K segment of the world (if the edition sells out). According to Johnston, a POD book doesn't serve the same function. Or, only in such a limited fashion, re: an audience of family and friends, that "doesn't serve the same purpose" because it doesn't "encompasses the possibility of meaningful, widespread communication".

As a dedicated believer in the value of POD photobooks, I took umbrage, specifically, with the idea that such books lack "the possibility of meaningful, widespread communication." While he may have a point, re: widespread communication, he is unequivocally wrong on the lack of "meaningful" communication.....

.....I have 20 hardbound POD photobooks of my pictures. Most are comprised of my "fine art" work (that is, work make with art intentions) defined by theme. A few are "annuals" - compilations of year's work. And, a few more are albums of vaction travels. In increasing numbers, I am adding to that total with the creation of what could most accurately be called family photo albums.

I began the family album creation-and started deliberately making and printing family album snapshots-after reading this passage from the book, The Art of the American Snapshot:

The Museum of Modern Art mounted an exhibition of 350 photographs in 1944 called The American Snapshot....While most reviewers asserted that the exhibition was severely comprimised [the pictures had been cropped and reprinted], they also insisted that the pictures "constitute the most vital, most dynamic, most interesting and worthwhile photographic exhibition ever assembled by the Museum of Modern Art. Praised as being "without artistic prentention" and coming "nearer to acheiving the stature of true art than any of the inbred preciosities in the museum's permanent collection of in any of its previous shows," the photographs were applauded as "honest, realistic, human and articulate." (bold type my emphasis)

This passage, and the book taken as a whole, was a bit of an epiphany for me inasmuch as, while my hardbound POD "fine art" photobooks were, and continue to be, an attempt to print my work in a manner that is likely to be preserved and handed down, I came to realize that my take on family picture albums will be far more treasured than my "fine art" photobooks.

Now, if creating pictures that are "honest, realistic, human and articulate" and making photobooks-which by extention, are also "honest, realistic, human and articulate"-comprised of those pictures is not a form of "meaningful" communication, then I must be a fool.