• Beyond Facsimile: The haptic photobook as a distributed archive

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (2019-03-15)
      This is a case study describing the development of a dossier format photobook as a distributed archive, Long Grove Asylum Medical Journal by Tim Daly. The work presents a twenty-five year long project recording the interior spaces, ephemera and artifacts of an abandoned large scale hospital facility, alongside material collected separately by a county archivist. The work makes explicit the link between past and present by re-materialising archive matter and original photography to create new, tactile ‘things’ that challenge our notions of the past and the present; public and private and the original and the copy. The books forefronts the materiality of collected photographs, documents and ephemera through touch and disruptive sequencing. By handling the loose-leaf contents of the books, viewers are presented with an enhanced, haptic reading experience. The recirculation of material artefacts within the dossier provides an additional kind of archive experience recalling souvenirs, the museum and private collecting. As Scott (2014: 130) suggests ‘The interaction between the book as a material object and its readers brings the book to life, just as the materiality of the book interacts with its narrative.’ Designed to be handled and navigated in a manner that wouldn’t be possible with fragile originals, the choice of papers, unconventional printing processes and hand assembly techniques creates an enhanced experience for the reader. Disrupting the reader’s expectations of a facsimile, the book encourages touch and explores a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone.
    • Beyond Facsimile: The haptic photobook as a distributed archive

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester
      For photographers and visual artists of all disciplines, self-publishing has grown exponentially through the use of digital print technologies and the Internet, providing new ways to distribute work to a worldwide audience. Annette Gilbert suggests contemporary practitioners now engage in publishing as art practice, renegotiating the traditional publishing frameworks of processes, institutions and discourses. Certain photobooks operate by re-materialising recent and archive photographs to create new, tactile ‘things’ that challenge our notions of the past and the present; public and private and the original and the copy. In the post-digital era, such books are made to be handled and scrutinised at close quarters in the personal space of the reader rather than behind glass in an art museum or library. Many photographers employ ‘thingness’ as reflexive strategy in their book works, and as Ivan Vartanian and Ryuichi Kaneiko observe, an astute choice of materials ‘can bring a heightened level of physicality to the photobook as [an] object.’ Bill Burke’s I Want to Take Picture (1987) and Donovan Wylie’s & Timothy Prus’ Scrapbook (2009), are both facsimiles of unique journals, where original pages are rephotographed and presented verbatim. Yet can a book that has been materially or reprographically enhanced ever become more than a mere facsimile?
    • Book handling as a research method

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Impact Press Publications, 2018-04-11)
      How do we conceptualise touch? Unlike most visual art, touch is a fundamental aspect of interacting with artists’ books and without such a physical interaction with the artefact it is impossible to fully make sense of it. Despite this, there is no obvious syntax for us to report our experiences of handling an artists’ publication. Without handling a book, entire swathes of intertextual nuances could be missed - the deliberate material choices of the artist and the reader’s own rich experiential past never get the chance to make meaning. It can be argued that handling books provides a type of tacit knowledge that is unavailable from viewing alone. Developing a framework for reporting this haptic experience applying notions from material culture (for touch) and from literary theory (for intertextuality) together into a discourse to enrich and enhance our understanding of artists’ book works.
    • Reinstating Touch in the Documentary Photobook

      Daly, Tim; University of Chester (Museums Etc., 2012-07-22)
      Collections of photographs by photographers are rarely envisioned in the book form, but instead use the medium solely as an alternative distribution channel. In addition, most critically respected photographic publications are rightly perceived as surrogates for the gallery print; for the history of photography has fetishised the experience of viewing an original above all else. I propose that authored documentary photography books can become super-sensory works, documents of participation, intervention and touch.