1. Coming soon to London - ABC at the Copeland Book Market.

     


  2. Paleolithic cave paintings: ABC (Artists’ Books Cooperative) on the photobook

    The Photobook and its moon E-Book seen from planet Photography on July 19, 2013.

    1. What, in your view, do photo books contribute to the culture of photography?

    Photo books are a small part of the wider genre of artists’ books, which have been an essential part of our culture ever since the invention of the printing press. But the culture of photography is vast and universal and in relation to it, the photobook community is a mere particle floating in space. Rather than contributing to the culture of photography, we’re witnessing the conscious development of a photobook market that’s working hard to establish its experts, idols, and judges. It’s a dead-end that will eventually murder what could have been a force for good. It doesn’t have to be this way.

    Map representing the viral transmission of Hermann Zschiegner’s print-on-demand book ’25¢’ across the internet in October 2011. Red lines represent links between web pages in Asia, green for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, blue for North America, yellow for Latin America and white for unknown IP addresses.

    2. How do you define your role within the growing and changing field of photo book publishing? What are you trying to achieve?

    Many of us are interested in print-on-demand publishing. Print-on-demand liberates artists from the oppressively expensive and laborious demands of traditional photobook publishing. Print-on-demand is fast, cheap, and light. It exists outside the power structures of publishers and distributors. Few people take it seriously and we are one of the few. We’re not interested in what the books smell like, how they’re bound, whether they’re embossed or printed on the finest papers on Earth. Those are luxuries we can live without. We’re interested in raw ideas and there is no better transporter for a great idea than a book. A single book if needs be. And with the internet, the ideas in that single book can go viral and reach millions in a split second. No need for proposals, book dummies, meetings, bank loans, trucks, boats, trains and planes to ship hundreds of kilos of heavy books across the world into warehouses and bookshops. A powerful idea expressed in a collection of pictures bound together for the price of a meal and placed online can bypass all of that.

    As for the cooperative, we attend book fairs, curate exhibitions, work on projects and talk on an online forum where we discuss all aspects of making and proliferating work. We live in different countries and some of us have never met each other or even know what other members look like. We’re not even sure if some members are real or fictitious. We fall out – sometimes spectacularly – and we collaborate – sometimes spectacularly.

    The earliest known reference to a print-on-demand book is visible beneath the Large Black Stag cave painting in Lascaux, France. Black spots, believed to represent the number of people exposed to the single book, have been carbon dated at 30,000 years old, suggesting the painting was produced some time during the Upper Paleolithic Age.

    3. Do you publish online books and what might the future hold for this method of digitally distributing books?

    We’re all involved in publishing the idea of a book online. That is to say, each of our artists presents their book in some form of digital format that exists online as well as in physical form. That doesn’t mean it has to be an e-book. It could be the book presented as a video trailer on Vimeo, as a single line of text, a performance documented, an essay, a series of stills, or as a downloadable pdf file. The book exists in physical form and in conceptual form. It travels further and quicker as an idea than as an object. In the future, photography will outlive the photobook, images will outlive photography, and ideas will outlive images.

    This article appeared on the Photographers’ Gallery blog on 4 February 2014.

     


  3. A B C WELCOMES D L O

    ABC is delighted to add three new members to the laboratory.
    Please delight in their respective works as much as we did.

    WELCOME:

    Duncan Wooldridge
    http://www.duncanwooldridge.com

    Louis Porter
    http://louisporter.com/

    Oliver Griffin
    http://www.olivergriffin.co.uk/

    If YOU make great books and would love to join ABC please send us an email.
    artistsbookscooperative@gmail.com

     

  4. The second year running, ABC will participate again at the LA Art Book fair, organised by Printed Matter.
    We are looking forward to seeing you there.

    January 31- February 2, 2014
    Opening: Thursday, January 30, 2014, 6–9 pm

    The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
    152 North Central Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    moca.org
    http://laartbookfair.net/

     


  5. The Worst Photo Books of 2013

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    1. Less Américains by Mishka Henner
    He trashes Robert Frank, need we say more? Worst photo book of 2013. Let’s hope for Less Henner in 2014.

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    2. Scrap Book by Fred Free
    This is one of the worst photo books of 2013 because it’s filled with dated pictures of random chairs, canned fruit and one clipping which even mentions “Troll Clothes”. Nobody needs to see this stuff. That you can get it covered in your choice of four sickeningly garish colors makes this a no-brainer worst list candidate. Scrap Book? Try Crap Book.

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    3. Portraits by Andreas Schmidt
    Portraits by Andreas Schmidt is one of the worst photo books of 2013 because it does not feature 26 portraits of various men of great distinction but 26 boring pictures of Hugh Grant who is not even a real man because he has no chest hair.

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    4. NFS: Need for Speed/Not for Sale by Jonathan Lewis
    This book is currently priced at £5036.99 on Blurb’s website and it is not even a limited edition! What is more he offers almost no explanation for this seemingly random collection of images. Either this artist is extremely foolish, extremely arrogant, or both.

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    5. Details from the Least Popular by Heidi Neilson
    Tedious! How could the dullest parts of boring images from the Hubble Space Telescope possibly be interesting? Is this meant to be a sleep aid?

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    6. Las Meninas by Paul Soulellis
    Calls himself an artist and doesn’t even use a camera. Steals everything from Google.

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    7. Monument to the Unknown Heroes by Tanja Lažetić
    Monument to the Unknown Heroes by Tanja Lažetić will just remain that. Unknown. It is full of basic mistakes. Grainy pictures. Blank pages. And some pictures are even printed twice or even three times. Particularly unexceptional.

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    8. The Last Resort (The Bootleg) by Hermann Zschiegner
    The Last Resort (The Bootleg) by Hermann Zschiegner is the last book I would buy. Did Zschiegner not know that the original book is in colour? And what are all those silly hands doing there? It is an insult to the Gods of photobooks, Martin Parr and Gerry Badger.

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    9. How The West Was Won. Copyright Applied For. by David Schulz
    How to not lose your money. By not buying How The West Was Won. Copyright Applied For by David Schulz. Comprised of mainly postcards, contracts, meeting minutes, advertising agency reports, newspaper clippings, scripts, scripting notes, and correspondences, it only contains a few photographs and they are old. Oh yeah, and some stupid Japanese poems that don’t make sense.

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    10. Every Day a New Photo Book by Wil van Iersel
    Wil van Iersel makes a new book every day for a whole month every year. POD should have never been invented. This month his topic is food. His books are as good as eating 30 cheeseburgers from McDonald’s in one go. 

     


  6. Andreas Schmidt launches GESAMTBUCHKUNSTWERKSKULPTUR at Offprint Paris, November 14, 2013

     

  7. ABC will be at Offprint Paris
    November 14th - 17th
    http://www.offprintprojects.com/

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  8. ABC will be at the Vancouver Art/Book Fair
    October 5th - 6th
    http://vancouverartbookfair.com/

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  9. ABC will be at the Unseen Book Market Amsterdam
    September 26th - 29th (#9 on the map)
    http://www.unseenamsterdam.com/events/171

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  10. The New Yorker says ABC artist Paul Soulellis’ Las Meninas is one of the twelve reasons to visit the NY Art Book Fair this weekend. Come find it at the ABC table (Q47) along with work by Heidi Neilson, Fred Free, Erik Doeringer, Jonathan Lewis, David Schulz, Tanja Lažetić and Andreas Schmidt.

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