HOME, by Timothy Archibald, began as a Tumblr called Stereoscopy.
A series of photos, mostly diptychs, mostly of his 2 kids, often with writing, shot with a smart phone, while his marriage was dissolving. I followed that Tumblr as it was unrolling and was struck by the whimsy, the slight mindfuck, the vague reference to photo history and a few other threads I couldn't pin down.
In a way it was kind of like when I was blogging LIVE THROUGH THIS: a series of dispatches being posted more or less as events unfolded. Minutia, side tracks, wrong turns. Raw material that also stands as a thing unto itself.
I asked Tim if he might be interested in publishing it. He agreed and we set about giving it another form, turning it into a book.
Thus began a 2 or 3 month trip taken by email and Skype, Tim in San Fran, me in Kapital City, Kanada, our minds and aesthetic proclivities meeting somewhere in the middle . . . call it, geographically, Nebraska.
One of the things I like about photography, probably as much as (maybe even more than) taking photos, is editing them. Editing in the old-fashioned sense of choosing and sequencing. Having the raw material that was Stereoscopy and shaping it into a book which would turn that work into something else, into a . . . book, was big fun. Especially with Timothy on the other end, questioning, exploring, anchoring.
I'll leave it to Mr Archibald, at a later date, to talk about the process from his end. After all, process is a big part of what it is we do as photographers, editors, makers of books. I'll close here, though, by saying the book is very different from the original Tumblr, it's kind of melted down to an essence. I'm pretty sure it's more mysterious than the un-edited version, which might strike you as strange. Surely an edit should clear up mystery, eliminate chaff, point the way. But life's not like that. And HOME is about life as much as it's about anything.
Just got the PDF's of the covers. Thanks Lissa at BirdDog Design.
One of these will be "upside down" on the book, because one "side" of the book will "upside down", too. I'm told that's called a "tumble" in the publishing/book biz.
That way the subject matter of the book(s) will be attached, so to speak, but separate as well. One side being general thoughts, opinions, etc., about photography; the other side being from the journals I kept while I was shooting Live Through This.
Don't worry though . . . if you turn the book over, the side you're looking at will be right-side up.
Here's the ASLEEP AND WAKING UP side of the upcoming STRAYLIGHT double-sided book: ATTACK & CONFUSION / ASLEEP AND WAKING UP.
The cover you see here is just a working cover, the real covers are, as we speak, being designed.
Some statistics . . .
- The book is designed to weigh 485 grams (just over a pound), because once something weighs more than 500 grams the Canada Post rates go through the roof.
- Once it's packed for shipping it weighs 499 grams.
- There are 52 entries on 82 pages on the ATTACK & CONFUSION side. and 21 entries on 46 pages on the ASLEEP AND WAKING UP SIDE.
- The book contains more than 120 photos and exactly 22,587 words.
We've been working hard here, dealing with scores of details and firming things up for three books due out within the next month or so.
We've got HOME, by Timothy Archibald; Sad City, by Scot Sothern and ATTACK & CONFUSION / ASLEEP AND WAKING UP, by yours truly (that'd be Tony Fouhse).
Here's a shot showing one of the prints that will be available with a Special Edition of HOME:
Here's a shot and story from Sad City:
When you live in a box you mostly pull yourself around with your forearms. When you pee you do it horizontally into a plastic gallon milk jug and the front of your pants are usually wet. You're always on the lookout for matches and Bics to momentarily illuminate the fuzzy yellow space and set fire to the rock in the pipe, the one thing you have managed to keep hold of. When the night is spent you crawl out of your box to meet the day with great apprehension; you stink and your clothes are ragged and your hair is matted; your breath is foul and your sores don't heal, you attract vermin and nobody wants to help you.
And finally, a page spread from the ASLEEP AND WAKING UP section of ATTACK & CONFUSION / ASLEEP AND WAKING UP:
Another excerpt from ATTACK AND CONFUSION, a new book from STRAYLIGHT Press. Stories, opinion and foto advice you won't get anywhere else. Available soon for pre-order . . .
HAVING A BAD TIME
Hands up. Who wants to have a bad time?
I’ll bet I’m the only one who raised their hand. No sane person wants to have a bad time, right?
Wrong. (If you ask me.)
I think bad times, and taking steps which will more than likely lead to having a bad time, are very important from a creative standpoint. (And I say this from my comfortable, middle-aged, white guy, have a newish car and a pretty good job, point of view. I know that there are bad times and there are BAD TIMES. What I’m talking about here is the lower case version.)
I get sick and tired hearing all the time how cool everything always is. How everything always works out (even tho it always does, in the end). How certain we are. To me that just indicates a failure of the imagination; a lack of risk taking; a certain acceptance of the status quo. We don’t see that our groove has become a rut.
Not that I want to hear a bunch of complaining. No complaining. (Am I complaining here? Maybe. But I embrace my contradictions.) No, what I like to hear from people, from time to time, is that they’ve purposely gone and put themselves into a position where having a bad time was way more likely than having a good time. Where they’ve courted disaster or, at least, spectacular failure.
Screw Club Med, fuck Vegas, that shit’s just cliché. Get yer ass out there, into the middle of nowhere (or into the middle of everything), where nothing is certain. Go on, get confused, make the wrong decision, get lost, don’t know.
Speaking from personal experience, I know that every time I’ve gone and done it, every time I set myself up in sticky situations, courted failure and welcomed bad times, well, I’ve never felt more alive.
And, for your information, I’m actually having a good time these days. But I have plans . . .