WHO IS MY AUDIENCE? I guess you could put my project into some kind of poetic/philosophical/reflective nature-based, landscape category. It is not strictly objective landscape photography and it is not documentary. Pigeonholing my audience does somewhat elude me. Images of nature are universally recognisable, I hope this work speaks universally on a deep-seated emotional level, however, I am under no illusion that my work will most likely perpetuate within like-minded circles - philosophical 'landscape' artists, communities of wabi-sabi informed artists, nature-based thinkers, niche photobook collectors etc. The work should also be of interest to anyway interested in Cornwall. The work is also fundamentally photographic (strategies informed by 'optical theory'; visualising spatial-temporal dynamics, challenging intangibility, transference onto a 2D surfaces; the work is informed by universally emotion-inducing pictures patterns), ss such, the work lends itself to wider discourse within academic studies of photography.
METHODS OF PRODCUTION FOR PUBLIC AUDIENCES: I had considered making a transition-based slide movie (see my post here) but I feel like it is not entirely appropriate as the main feature of my work - it would inherently be informed and designed by modern technology and that goes against the organic nature of the work. I had also thought about installing my work on the sites I took my images (see my post here) but have decided to shelve that idea for a few reasons I explained in my previous post (see post here) - essentially I am not sure I want to scent-mark nature with my images. I have decided to move forward at this time with the other ideas I had - an eco-friendly publication, a limited portfolio edition containing the publication and a select few hand-crafted prints, and an online gallery. The photobook, portfolio box set solidifies the work in a physical form. Whilst I consider a dedicated online gallery space a pre-requisite to any artists dissemination, is quite simply the most effective, flexible, sustainable, inclusive and permanent platform to use to reach global audiences.
I believe Simon Norfolk's assertion, on A Small Voice podcast, that photo-books are something of a vanity project predominantly for the middle-classes, was not necessarily aimed at the production of handmade small edition niche photobooks: 'vanity publishing no different to an author paying someone to publish their book... who can afford to pay £40-£60 for a coffee table book? Just middle-class people like yourself' (Norfolk, 2019). In a more recent A Small Voice podcast Matthew Genitempo (photographer and co-founder of independent art book publisher, Trespasser) was asked, "what do you think the future of photobooks is?" He replied that he didn't know and that the interviewers guess would be as good as his, however, he states he firmly knew what he would like to see the future being - more small limited runs of handmade books, in which "the human touch is undeniable".
Of Awoiska van der Molen's Living Mountain publication, Brad Feuerhelm questions books as the right format to speak about the scale of nature, I am also talking about time as well as nature so the magnitude is double. He answers this beautifully in stating this human failure is important to communicate within the work, it is central to my work also: 'In some small manner of critical conjecture, one must ask if the book form is the correct format in which to speak about the magnitude of nature, or for that matter, whether there is a point in making images of it at such scale. I would ascertain that the experience of images like van der Molen’s will always fail her direct experience of place and that is probably somewhat frustrating, but perhaps this human element of failure is important for the artist to understand and communicate to the viewer. After all, should nature not ask of us “who do you think you are to rectify the image of my grandeur with such simple means built from the technical world that you use to destroy my gifts”? This is only a remark about perception and perhaps a notable conflation of aim and outcome when we consider books being made of trees recycled or not etc.' (Feuerhelm, 2020). My work is not objective and therefore does not aim to speak directly of nature, my work invites the audience into my own approximation of time and nature.
HOW TO REACH THE AUDIENCE? I will use social media to promote this work, in addition to seeking features with appropriate national and international online and media outlets. I am in the process of compiling a list for this. Should this work become published beyond my own small self-published run by a more established publisher, this will obviously move into a new level of promotional activity between myself and the publishers.
• Genitempo, Matthew. 2021. A Small Voice: Conversations with Photographers 155 [Interview by Ben Smith] A Small Voice [Online] Available at: https://bensmithphoto.com/asmallvoice/genitempo-and-schutmaat [Accessed: 05.08.21
• Norfolk, Simon. 2019. A Small Voice: Conversations with Photographers 107 [Interview by Ben Smith] A Small Voice [Online] Available at: https://bensmithphoto.com/asmallvoice/simon-norfolk?rq=simon%20norfolk [Accessed: 05.08.21]
• Feuerhelm, Brad. 2020. Awoiska van der Molen’s The Living Mountain. American Suburb X [online Available at: ]https://americansuburbx.com/2020/07/awoiska-van-der-molens-the-living-mountain.html?fbclid=IwAR0icVy-tShKIsb062Z1O85n06iKTiuCO-lAo-pftI3AXgSB_c6dGvqEk8Q [Accessed: 05.08.21]