A few weeks ago, I posted a piece about the planning of a ‘dummy book’ for Assignment Five. This is the outcome. I’m not going to record all the process of planning, printing, binding etc here; it’s all in a notebook that I’ve kept. But this is an entirely hand-made, home-printed/bound/backed ‘dummy’. You can see a video of me turning through the pages here ‘Textbook’ Book on YouTube or a PDF slideshow that shows off the images rather better here ‘Textbook’ Book Slideshow.
It isn’t perfect, by any means. I used a paper that I like but which is way too heavy. That has meant a compromise in the way I’ve done the binding and results in some ‘gaps’ here and there where the signatures meet (see below). It may look quite charming, in a hand-made sort of way, but I’d prefer to avoid it in a final version.
There is one print misalignment across a double-spread that I didn’t spot until it was bound (damn!). The backing is a bit piecemeal, just to get something presentable for the assignment submission – and I might still bind the final version into the original cover of the book itself, who knows.
However, overall, I’m actually quite pleased with it as an ‘outcome’ for the project. I haven’t edited out many images in the end because, as I’ve said in this blog before, I feel that all of them have been created to contribute to the project and, I think, the book stands up as a lengthy format that gives the viewer plenty to look at and think about. I sense that, if I was browsing photo-books and picked this up, it would intrigue and interest me; I would want to spend some time looking through it. It is certainly possible to drop into it at any point and find something that may seduce the viewer to want more. But the overall sequencing is something that I’ve thought about and planned – as discussed in the previous post about planning. I hope that there are rises and falls; calms and crescendos; occasional surprises; and enough to interest the viewer as well as making them think. Deliberately late in the book – around image 62 in the slideshow – there is a sort of artists statement (see below). I prefer that the viewer sees most of the images before reading this but I think some form of statement is required. It isn’t right at the end, but is followed by a kind of postscript of further images that might add another twist.
So – broadly happy with the outcome and the pdf slideshow will form part of my Assignment Five submission. I’m hoping I might get the opportunity to show the actual book to a few people for feedback as well.