A three-day-long immersive programme of workshops to re-imagine the future of publishing.
Over the past 10 years, the self-publishing revolution’s DIY ethos has re-energized a conservative and backward-thinking publishing industry. The creative input of a new generation of authors and makers has democratized the world of the photobook, proving both the medium’s strength and its capacity for experimentation and artistic expression.
Today, our resilient community is faced with new challenges, and after the excitement of the photobook boom, we need to rethink where we are and better understand our own limitations, blind spots and scarce resources.
Challenged with unsustainable business models, threatened by the ever-more competing digital distribution of content, and a general homogenization and banalization of content, the photobook world is in crisis, both economically and existentially. In our current social, political and technological landscape, the medium’s very raison d’etre is under threat.
So what it is next for the photobooks? What new forms should the photobook take? How can we harness the power of technology to assist artists and thinkers in making provocative and necessary experiments in publishing? What role should the book have in promoting social and political change in the era of Trump and populism? Is our close-knit community of like-minded people its own limit? Who is the photobook for? Indeed, is the photobook as we know it even an effective form of communication?
Photobook: RESET inspired radical thinking around the form and content of the photobook. As the name suggests, the project prompted a reset and provided an environment in which to consider new possibilities, ideas and opportunities outside of the usual parameters.
Hosted by C/O Berlin from 28-30 September 2018, the first Photobook: RESET event was an immersive programme of workshops imagined and organized to re-imagine the future of publishing.
Thirty photography- and publishing-industry professionals, artists and writers, as well as 30 members of the public participated in rotating research workshops led by six international experts. These brought together insights from different fields of research, in order to open up inspiring perspectives and unexpected connections.