Textbook–final images, now what?

Textbook First Edit

I have ‘finished’ making images for the Textbook Project!  A bold statement – and not necessarily an accurate one; there could be more if the project seems to demand it, and I have plenty of material from which I could go further.  That’s a strange aspect of this project; it need never end unless I choose to end it.  But then, knowing when it’s time to stop is an important part of the process – and it’s time to stop!

Some recent additions include:


And I finally set it on fire:


… so time to stop!

I did work on one more pattern/construct, a kind of final spectacular finale …

Spectral Sensitivity Colour Complex

… and I did let the sun go to work on its origin! (Fabulous title for the diagram!)


Which leads to the question – what now?  The image at the top of this post shows a pile of around 80-90 prints, each circa 10cmx10cm.  I produced them for the purpose of editing and sequencing and the pile includes most, though not quite all, of the images that have emerged from the project.  Almost from the start, I have believed that a book should be the final outcome for this project – book deconstructed, reconstructed, reimagined, and re-formed as a new book.  Editing a set of images down to those that really work, that really matter for the project – everyone knows that’s a difficult and challenging task.  Letting go of some that are ‘dear’ to the maker is not easy.  I have about 87 images in the set – and their importance does vary, some being part of the build up to something else, for example.  But a thought has come to me about this project, and I don’t think it’s me getting ‘cold feet’ about the editing process – There might be an argument for keeping all or most of them in the book!

I did a little bit of random research amongst some photobooks on my shelves, and the typical number of ‘leaves’ (individual pages) in a decent sized book is around 80.  I have begun to think of the possibility of a lengthy and potentially ‘lively’ book in which all these images appear – sometimes 2/3/4 to a page, sometimes a double-page ‘colour splash’ with full bleed that assaults the senses.  I have a feeling that there is enough visual strength and enough variety in the set to make that work.  Using the small prints, I have had a shot at ordering them in a way that they might be presented in such a book.  This is a link to a PDF slideshow of the sequence, which I hope will ‘play’.  Important to say that they appear as individual slides, all more or less the same size, whereas in book form, there would be much more variety and rhythm to the presentation; also worth saying that there are one or two towards the end that might not ‘survive’ a further edit – one at least is probably obvious.  This is the link: Textbook Slideshow.

I am going to need to submit Assignment Four soon, as already reflected in relation to the Portraits.  This ‘long’ edit might form part of the submission – need to reflect.


6 thoughts on “Textbook–final images, now what?

  1. Stephanie Dh.

    I have looked at your pdf Stan, and as you know since the beginning, I really enjoy this work and exploration. It is playful, almost psychedelic at times, visually interesting (my favorites images being the cut-ups) and I am fascinated by the whole process even if I am not sure to understand what you are looking for, but it doesn’t bother me that much. I am hypnotized.
    I am not sure about some part of the sequencing though, the beginning works very well for me, but the more typological close to the end seems too linger to long for me. I don’t know.
    Anyway, it is so interesting to see you work, and I would love to see in real how you present it in the end!

    1. standickinson Post author

      Thanks, Stephanie; not sure I’m looking for anything. I’d like the images to seduce the viewer and encourage them to look for something, though – hypnotism; magic; seduction … Comes back to your own blog post concerning ‘aboutness’. Is this project ‘about’ the magic of the photographic image? Maybe …
      Are you referring to the last four images in the pdf, when you use the word typological? Those images actually contain all the pages from the original book, reduced to four jpegs! In a book, I envisaged them forming a kind of ‘end-piece’, lingering after everything else has passed.

  2. jsumb

    Fascinating project, really enjoying this Stan! Was the decision to make 10X10 images a deliberate reference to MF analogue? Seems likely to me.
    I can see the attraction to a book, sort of circular, but that would dismiss a great deal of the physicality of the work, I think even prints might be create a greater sense of that physical presence – 80 or so prints individually floated in frames…However, I see a lot of Stezaker in this, the use of the knife, the transformative nature of the work etc, that I wonder whether a display cabinet would serve best? Maybe two or three…. combining some of the prints, cut-ups, linen prints, burnt effigies and the LSD induced technicolor dreams. Really works well from this distance.

    1. standickinson Post author

      “Was the decision to make 10X10 images a deliberate reference to MF analogue?” Haha! Might have something to do with roughly fitting six onto an A4 page!
      There is something complete and contained about a book for this project – but I agree that there is also a lot of potential to explore other options (similar, in principle, but different in actuality, to the Portraits). In the context of the degree progression – a book at BoW Assessment but then opening out to other possibilities through SYP, perhaps. There is, though, a corner of me that resists the temptation to fully expose the physicality of, say, the fabric prints. I wonder whether I’m more interested in the magical powers of the photographic image to conjur up that sense of physicality, to make you want to see them, than I am in actually sharing them? Genuinely, not sure?
      Then (just to get back to “frivolity”!) there is another subversive streak that is tempted to go straight for the merchandising angle. Imagine my assessment submission in the form of a tablecloth, place mats, and coaster!! Wouldn’t that be something?
      (Oh, an yes, I acknowledge some Stezaker influence plus a photographer called Abe Morell – in the aesthetics of those ‘cut-up’ images)


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