THE PHOTOBOOK ECOSYSTEM: 
Searching for Sustainable Approaches
26 April 2022

Co-presented by 10×10 Photobooks and the Sustainable Photobook Publishing (SPP) Network

What does sustainability mean for the photobook community? The materials used to make books such as paper, printing inks and packaging all use valuable resources and industrial processes that create waste and are potentially harmful to the planet. As a creative field with links to many different disciplines, photobook publishing is well positioned to innovate and challenge publishing industry norms to forge a more sustainable future. Starting from where the YET Issue 12 “Is a Book Worth a Tree?” research ended, this event is intended to start conversations, spark new ways of thinking, and encourage ecologically conscious decision making at each stage of the photobook cycle—design, making, distribution, consumption.

A panel discussion with Loose Joints — Lewis Chaplin & Sarah Piegay Espenon, Catriona Gourlay (NAL, V&A), Paul John (Jan van Eyck Academie, Endless Editions) and Tamsin Green (manual.editions, SPP Network).

Moderated by Amelie Schuele (FOAM) and Daria Tuminas (FOTODOK).

Supported by Westminster University (Green Fund) and RPS Documentary Group.

Read the Summary

Daria Tuminas is an independent curator. Since 2019, she regularly curates for FOTODOK. Between 2017 and 2019, she headed Unseen Book Market at Unseen Amsterdam. Tuminas obtained a master’s in folklore and mythology at Saint Petersburg State University, and a master’s in film and photographic studies at Leiden University. She has organized a number of exhibitions and projects in relation to photobooks and regularly contributes texts about photobooks to various media including guest editor of The Photobook Review #12 (Aperture, 2017); a chapter on Eastern European photobooks in How We See: Photobooks by Women (10×10 Photobooks, 2018); and in 2020 Tuminas co-wrote “Is a Book Worth a Tree?” for YET issue 12.

Amelie Schüle is curator and head of public practice at FOAM Amsterdam. Special projects include the solo show Double Portrait by Cemre Yesil at project space MAQAM and Foam Talks, a monthly podcast focussing on contemporary photography and visual culture. From 2018 until 2020, she was a curator at Unseen Amsterdam. Before this, she worked for several years in different commercial galleries in Switzerland including Christophe Guye Galerie and Hauser & Wirth. She obtained a Master’s degree in Curatorial Studies at the Zurich School of the Arts. Schüle co-wrote “Is a Book Worth a Tree?” for YETissue 12.

Loose Joints is an independent publishing house founded by Sarah Piegay Espenon and Lewis Chaplin in 2014 and based between Marseille and London. Collaborating with leading and emerging artists on contemporary approaches to photography in book form, Loose Joints circulates new visual perspectives through a dedicated list seeking to elevate underrepresented voices in photographic discourse, and a holistic approach to publishing from start to finish with all design, editing and production done in-house. Loose Joints also operates independently as a design studio, working across publishing and the arts. In 2021 Loose Joints also founded Ensemble: a space dedicated to books, editions and photography in the heart of Marseille.

 Paul John is an artist who works in abstract photography. Publishing and bookmaking are at the core of his artistic work. Education, dissemination of skills, and cultivating a community are elements of that practice. Working at the intersection of printmaking and institution building, John is the co-founder and former director of Endless Editions (based out of the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop in New York City), a publishing and curatorial initiative founded in 2014 with a mission to produce and disseminate books or prints by underrepresented and emerging artists. In 2017 Endless Editions co-produced the first ever Brooklyn Art Book Fair and has been the sole organizer since. BKABF is a free event for both vendors and the public. John is currently the coordinator of the Printing and Publishing Lab at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht, NL.

Catriona Gourlay studied Fine Art in Edinburgh and worked as a Research Resources Assistant at the National Galleries of Scotland before becoming Assistant Curator in the National Art Library at the V&A in 2015. Her recent V&A display, Landscape and Language in Artists’ Books, explored how artists since the 1960s have used thought-provoking combinations of word and image to respond to landscape or evoke imaginary places.

Tamsin Green is an English visual artist and architect. In 2021 she established manual.editions to explore environmentally conscious approaches to book making. Through her search for more sustainable practices the Sustainable Photobook Publishing (SPP) Network was born. Green has published two handmade small edition books: Born of the Purest Parents (self-published, 2018) and this is how the earth must see itself; A walk with Natural Features (manual.editions, 2021). These books are in public collections, including the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Tate. Her books are also available to borrow within the UK via the manual.editions library.

Another huge piece of sustainability is supporting each other: right now, Ukrainian publishers and artists can use our support as they are seriously struggling during this insane war. Buying Ukrainian photobooks is one way to help. We’ve put together a google doc listing some publishers and photobooks, please check it out at 

bit.ly/UkrainePhotobooks

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