December 2, 2016 - April 9, 2017 – Phoenix Art Museum
Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography

About this Exhibition

In August 2016, INFOCUS called photographers to submit their photobooks to our second triennial Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks. The purpose of the exhibition is to explore the range of ways that artists are using newly available commercial technologies in order to express themselves. A jury of eight industry professionals (listed below), reviewed 179 submissions and selected 110 books for the exhibition.

These books hail from all over the United States (including four local examples from Arizona), and 12 countries on five continents, including Australia, Russia, Chile, Norway, The Netherlands, England, Germany, France, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, and Italy.

Selected books showcase a wide range of printing technologies, including offset lithography, digital inkjet printing, letterpress, laser printing, and photocopying. In some cases, self-publishing artists worked with boutique operations like Conveyor Arts in Jersey City, New Jersey, and Edition One Books in Berkeley, California; in others, they worked with print-on-demand online publishing platforms like Blurb, MagCloud, MyPublisher, and Shutterfly.

We asked for books of any subject including retrospective, project-based, souvenir albums, fictional narrative, exhibition catalogues, poetic, biographical, or children’s books, and welcomed collaborative or collective books in addition to those by a single author. We found that in a well-crafted book, the artist considers every element of the book’s design, and uses each to enhance the finished product. Among the selections are noteworthy selection of paper weight and surface; cover material; printing method and reproduction quality; font style, color and size; text placement and justification (centered, aligned to the right or left); endpaper and title page design; binding (spiral bound, hard bound, paperback); size and placement of the images; sequence of the images; and inclusion (or exclusion) of and placement of the caption information. All submissions were created between 2014 and the present, representing some of the best examples of self-publishing from the last three years.

Read a few words from our curator, Rebecca Senf

From the earliest years of the medium’s history, photographers have embraced the book form as a way to present, organize and disseminate their work. Click here to read more / less »

Books allow photographers to expand their reach to a much larger audience and to control the presentation of their work. Publishing a body of work also increases prestige and permanence; by creating books, artists know that their printed volume, in libraries and private collections, will long outlive them. Within the art field, there exists a reverence for books, a reverence that acknowledges the care and attention that went in to producing them.


Rebecca Senf
Norton Family Curator

Publishing photographic books has rapidly changed over the last twenty years, with the impact of technology on book publishing and photography. Costs of paper, printing and binding have increased and profit margins for traditional publishers are narrowing, creating a risk-averse climate in which unknown artists have difficulty getting books published by existing presses. The bookstores where we once browsed and purchased books are being replaced by online retailers, which in turn, changes our patterns of buying and the way products are marketed. Furthermore, many types of reading (including news, correspondence, and recreational fiction) have moved away from sheets of paper and bound books to digital displays of various kinds.

Despite these massive shifts in how they are made, the desire to produce photographic books is only increasing. Young photographers want their artwork to be presented as a book, and photographic books continue to be produced, discussed, admired, coveted, collected, and sold. Now, with the INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks, we can shed light on an important new phase in the story of photographic books – the ability of photographers world-wide to produce high-quality books of their work through self-publishing.

The Photographers and their Books

Listed below are all the photographers represented in the exhibition along with links to where each book can be purchased, if available. Most books range in price from $10 to $100, with a few very special editions priced higher. We encourage you to support these artists by adding favorites to your collection.

Ken Abbott
Useful Work: Photographs of Hickory Nut Gap Farm

Sue Abramson
A Woodlands Journal

Jeremy Ackman
Growth

Scott Alario
Witch Sleepyhead in a Valley

Hannah Smith Allen
Scheduled Implosions

Kimberly Anderson
Mama Dragon Story Project

Theo Anderson
Pecker

Elena Anosova, Ekaterina Ashitkova, Natalia Baluta, Anastasia Bogomolova, Varvara Kuzmina, Sergey Poteryaev, Juliana Semenova
Mythologique

Stephen S. Ashley
With Beauty Above Me

Bob Aufuldish
Disremembering

Bob Aufuldish
Very Low Altitude Aerial Photographs (An Atlas)

Andrew Beckham
FloodReflected

Aleya Lehmann Bench
L is for Lollipop, A Girl's Guide to the Alphabet

Harvey Benge
UN-SOLVED PUZZLES RE-MAIN

Harvey Benge
NOT FOOD OR SEX

Jerry Birchfield
Yes, They Were Made to Level

Anastasia Bogomolova
Lookbook

Julia Borissova
DOM (Document Object Model)

Julia Borissova
J.B. about men floating in the air

Richard Bram
NEW YORK

Jürgen Bürgin
Urban Fever - Scenes from City Life

Lewis Bush
City of Dust

Jesse Butcher
Reasonable and The Weather

Shawn Campbell
GET SOME

Aaron Canipe
plateau

Aaron Canipe
Sour Vanilla

Brett Carlsen and Juan Madrid
Welcome To Flint

Megan Cerminaro
M is for Mirror

William Chan
Ten Years After Iraq

Elizabeth Chiles
Electric Blue Flowers

Jasmine Clark
After Eisenhower

Marna G. Clarke
Time As We Know It

Karin Crona
The Girl From No. 13

Robin Dahlberg
Billable Hours in 6-Minute Increments

Charles Darr
Stars to Satellites

Dana Davis
As Is: Photographs

Rocio de Alba
Miracle Baby

Carlos de Jesus
In The Knot of Time

Lou Dematteis
Lowrider

Francois Deschamps
Newburgh, New York

Francois Deschamps
Shipibos of Peru

Jesse Dittmar
TWO

Simone Donati
Hotel Immagine

Betty Drake
Charles Barkley the Cat Wants His Breakfast and He Wants It NOW!

Miska Draskoczy
Gowanus Wild

Eliot Dudik and Jared Ragland
Or Give Me Death

Yael Eban, ed.
False Lighthouse

Judith Erwes
Some Sheep

Judith Erwes and Paul Bower
Brilliant

Ana Paula Estrada
Memorandum

Terry Etherton, ed.
STILLGONE

Jeff Evans
What's Wrong with this Picture?

Geir Foshaug
Photographs As The End of Boredom

Ashley Gates, ed.
We Didn't See Each Other After That

Ralph Gibson
Political Astraction

Jeffery Graves
Lay Over

Roger T. Hagan
Mexico 1953: Photographs

Sharon Madden Harkness
Regret

Sharon Lee Hart
According to the Sky

Maki Hayashida
The Pacific Tourist

Thomas Locke Hobbs
Mountain fields like stairways of stone

Carolyn D Hoffman
Ancient Ruins of Petra, Jordan

Henry Horenstein
Histories: Tales from the 70s

Maria-Gracia Inglessis
And this is what she told me

Hiroyuki Ito
One Cat, Three Lives

Hadas Itzkovitch
and Anya Van Lit
I BELIEVE I AM GAY

Laurie H. Jacobs
Kaleidoscopes

Shannon Johnstone
Landfill Dogs

Siri Kaur
This Kind of Face

Brendan Keenan and Anonymous Strangers
I'm Everything a Girl Could Need

Pavel Kosenko
Undev. / Непрояв

Eric Lawton
Lucid Light

Clay Lipsky
Due West

Christopher Manson
RIOT ACT - THE G20 IN TORONTO

Lesia Maruschak
WO•MAN

Robbie McClaran
Mardis Gras, 1979

Kim McCloud
Truth or Consequences: An American Town at 100

Neil A. Miller
Atlantic City 1974

Alla Mirovskaya
Old family photos and deep sky objects

Kevin J. Miyazaki
Yonsei

Carolyn Monastra
The Witness Tree

Frances Murray
Frankie Learns to Photograph

Sergey Novikov
ZATO

Optics Division (Lauren Bon, Richard Nielsen, Tristan Duke)
One Hundred Mules Walking the Los Angeles Aqueduct

Louie Palu
Guantanamo

Lydia Panas
Falling From Grace...

Nathan Pearce
Various Midwestern Homes

Mark Peterman
Some Days We Caught Rainbows

Rachel Phillips
Divinations

Rachel Phillips
as Madge Cameron
Fixed

Mark Power
Destroying the Laboratory for the Sake of the Experiment

Mark Power
Die Mauer ist Weg!

Meghann Riepenhoff
Littoral Drift

Fernando Rosa
Panorama: The Value of Animals

Jacinda Russell
Icelandic Blue: Pantone 15-3908

Al Saulso
ENTANGLED

David Saxe
Unfinished Business

Lique Schoot
Song of Herself

Andi Schreiber
Drift

Lara Shipley
and Antone Dolezal
Spook Light Chronicles vol. 2 - the phosphorescent man

Lara Shipley
and Antone Dolezal
Spook Light Chronicles vol. 3 - we always lie to strangers

Patricia Silva
Hovering Unpinned, An Eyeful

Keith Taylor
The Dying of the Light - Twelve Instagram Photographs

Spencer Tunick
Participant

Paul Turounet
Estamos Buscando A

Preston Utley
The Snapshot Diaries

Melanie Walker
The MisNomer Pageant

Dianne Weinthal
Telegraph Ave

Christopher Willard
BUCH WTC ANAN

Penny Wolin
Descendants of Light: American Photographers of Jewish Ancestry

 

 

The Jury

The photobooks in this exhibition were selected by:

Jennifer Barnella
Retail Sales Manager, Phoenix Art Museum Shop

Ray Carns
Book Collector and INFOCUS Board Member

Larissa Leclair
Founder, Indie PhotoBook Library

Rebecca Senf
Norton Family Curator, Phoenix Art Museum and Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography

Mary Virginia Swanson
Co-Author, Publish Your Photography Book

Christian Waguespack
Intern, INFOCUS/Phoenix Art Museum and Ph.D. Candidate, University of Arizona

Emily Weirich
Associate Librarian for Research Services, Center for Creative Photography

Philip Zimmermann
Book Artist and Professor, University of Arizona

This exhibition was inspired by the Cleveland Museum of Art’s DIY: Photographers and Books

(return to About this Exhibition)

 


Reading and Resources

Indie Photobook Library (Washington, D.C.)– An archive of independently published and distributed photobooks, zines, exhibition catalogues, and more, founded by Larissa Leclair, one of the INFOCUS Self-published Photobooks jurors. The Independent Photobook Library showcases its collection through pop-up and feature-length shows, lectures, conferences, and articles, and lends works from its collection to museums and institutions. More info and a schedule of upcoming events available on the iPL’s website, indiephotobooklibrary.org

Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester, NY)– The Visual Studies Workshop offers residencies and educational programs, houses a sizeable collection, publishes the bi-monthly photo journal Afterimage, and maintains VSW Press, which has published over 450 artists’ books to date. The VSW hosts the bi-annual Photo-Bookworks Symposium, the next installment of which is slated for Summer 2016. They will host the second annual Pub Fair, a unique market showcasing book artists, photographers, and independent publishers, on September 13th from noon to 7:00 PM. More information is available at vsw.org.

Center for Book Arts (New York, NY)– In addition to offering instruction in traditional bookmaking techniques, including binding, papermaking, and letterpress printing, the Center for Book Arts hosts talks and workshops featuring a variety of artists, independent publishers and distributors. The center houses a collection of over 2,000 artists’ books. For a full schedule of events, visit www.centerforbookarts.org.

Printed Matter (New York, NY) – A non-profit dedicated to the promotion, proliferation, and dissemination of artists’ books, Printed Matter boasts an inventory of nearly 38,000 titles by over 27,000 artists. They sell and circulate works through a number of distribution networks, including their Chelsea storefront and their online catalogue. Printed Matter organizes annual Art Book Fairs in New York and L.A. to showcase and celebrate the independent and DIY publishing community. The New York Art Book Fair will be held September 26th – 28th at MOMA PS1; the L.A. Art Book Fair takes place January 31st – February 2nd at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. More information at printedmatter.org;laartbookfair.net; and nyartbookfair.com.

Publish Your Photography Book, Darius D. Himes and Mary Virginia Swanson, ©2011, Princeton Architectural Press –Publish Your Photography Book, co-authored by Darius D. Himes and Mary Virgina Swanson, two of the INFOCUS Self-published Photobooks jurors, offers a comprehensive and illustrated view of the publishing landscape, covering everything from marketing to the production process. Boasting case studies, interviews, and appendices listing publishers, resources, and events, the volume deserves a place in the library of any photographer considering self-publishing. It is available through Amazon, or at publishyourphotographybook.com.

DIY: Photographers and Books, Barbara Tannenbaum, Cleveland: Cleveland Art Museum, 2012. Catalogue of the first museum exhibition to feature self-published photobooks, with excellent discussion of the self-publishing phenomenon. Available for purchase on Blurb.

The Photobook: A History, Vol. 1-3, Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, London and New York: Phaidon, 2004, 2006 and 2014. An encyclopedic look at the history of the photographic book.