Friday 18 July 2008

Colophon interview the man behind a 1000 Words Photography Magazine, Tim Clark

COLOPHON:Magazine favourite(s) from your childhood.
TIM CLARK: The Face, Blueprint, Creative Review

Magazine favourite(s) that inspired you in your career.
HotShoe, Europe´s leading contemporary photography magazine. They helped me get my “foot in the door” as the old saying goes.

Magazine favourite(s) now.
FOAM, 032c, Purple and Next Level.

What else inspires and informs you?
People are my true well of inspiration. I take my hat off to anybody who lives a creative life and, needless to say, I really admire all those wonderful people who make art for no other reason than their sheer love of it. Being around and working with other artists and photographers is what makes me feel most alive.

Proudest moment of your career in magazines.
Well it is more of a series of them as opposed to one specific moment really. Just seeing 1000 Words get out there and knowing that it was jostling for attention along side all the other brilliant online photography projects was great for me. The feedback in particular has been nothing short of phenomenal. Receiving so many encouraging e-mails from various people whose opinions I respect enormously has left me in doubt that we have made a big impact, albeit initial. The fact that the website´s Stat Counter is averaging 2000 hits per day from unique visitors is another pretty good indicator that 1000 Words is winning the admiration of a large international audience.

Judging by what I have been told, people like that 1000 Words is as informative as it is innovative. While we have embraced the creative possibilities of what the internet can offer, I think it is fair to say that 1000 Words is more than just your average “website” and, at the same time, more than just your average “magazine”. The lay-out of the interface is refreshingly simple and functional so that the user can view the portfolio features as a smooth transition between the text and images which is quite unique. But more important than its look and feel, at least for me anyway, is that people rate 1000 Words for its quality content. I like to think of it as a treasure trove of information to which our readers come and rummage through in search of something new and alternative to what you would find in mainstream publishing. For instance, in the inaugural issue of 1000 Words we rooted out a remarkable talent called Paola de Grenet whose series on the Albino community living in a small region in Argentina was hitherto unpublished in photography journals. I´m quite frankly amazed she hasn´t had the exposure she deserves. I think the reason for this is either because editors are simply unaware that the work exists or because they tend to over-simplify her motivations for photographing “the other” as voyeuristic. At the other end of the spectrum, we took a look at two masters of the medium, Martin Parr and Candida Hoffer, but again featured their most recent fruits of labour which to many eyes had not been seen before. On the other hand, as a website, there is a wealth of material published on 1000 Words that you could never include in a printed magazine, such as our links section which provides an exhaustive resource for photographers who may be looking for information on say, competitions or funding bodies, as well as other online photography magazines for example. On the blog you can find lots of news on festivals, events and a wide variety of general info where the focus is clearly on emerging photographers.

Most well-known moment.
Given the fact that we haven´t been on the scene for that long I can´t really say to be honest. I don´t know, perhaps the article on 1000 Words that was published Creative Review.

Why is it so well known?
Because it´s Creative Review. Need I say more. It has generated a fair bit of interest in 1000 Words. I know it was only a small piece but it nevertheless made me feel very proud. It is a real honour to have people say such complimentary words about something you have created, especially when they come from somewhere like Creative Review which, for me, as I mentioned in response to one of your earlier questions, was my BIBLE for art and design when I was growing up.

Most important lesson learnt, and from who/where?
The most important lessons come from within, that´s the best form of education if you ask me. I have come to realise that the key to success is believing in your cause, working hard, caring more, wanting it more and sticking at it when the going gets tough. Suffice to say, talent does go along way too of course and a little bit of luck comes in handy but I think that, above all, it is tenacity that will give you the edge. Checking and re-checking the copy before passing it over to the art director is strongly advisable too.

Do you keep old copies of magazines? If so, what is your favourite in your collection?
Of course! Being a photographer means I am a natural hoarder of things. It is nothing compulsive or anything like that, I just think photography is more of a way of collecting things, curiosities and images, rather than a process of making pictures. I guess the same applies to accumulating stuff in my general life. Evidence of this can be found in the way my shelving unit groans under the heavy weight of all my books and magazines.

Choose three words to define your magazine.
Fresh, new,cutting-edge.

Why do you work in magazines?
Photography is my passion and profession and magazines/books form an essential part of its history. A magazine in itself is like a work of art in the sense that is a vehicle for self-expression. We are putting something out there for the whole world to see which is a clear reflection of my taste in photography and a projection of my voice. As for the design direction, anybody who knows me personally will testify that it comes across as very “me”: clean, light and uncluttered.

What is the magazine about?
1000 Words is an online magazine dedicated to highlighting the best work being produced internationally in photography today. Our idea is to encourage critical awareness with photography through engaging articles from widely published arts writers across the world. Furthermore, we are committed to showing portfolios of highly established photographers alongside those of emerging artists with the view to bringing their work to a wider audience. This is something that I cannot stress enough. Often incredibly diverse in terms of subjects, concepts, styles and techniques, yet by covering a wide spectrum of genres 1000 Words intends to make us reconsider the contemporary photograph.

Who reads it?
I am proud to say 1000 Words gets visitors from over 100 different countries and, according to our user demographic survey, we have a loyal community of readers that include photographers, collectors, curators, picture editors, art critics, university lecturers and photography students. Apart from that, many young, media savvy individuals who are interested in art, design and culture as well as general photography enthusiasts often drop by too.

How do you find innovative ways to talk to your readers?
We have an open submissions policy whereby all those photographers who send their work my way will have it featured on the blog so long as it meets a certain level of quality and, truth be told, ninety five per cent of it does which is fantastic. Of course, these portfolio “teasers” are occasionally interspersed with what I want to say and share but it is the user who very much dictates the content of the blog. The 1000 Words Blog sets out to act as a platform for up-and-coming talents in contemporary photography.

What do you like about the challenge of working in magazines?
Obviously I would have to say that I like rising to the challenge of improving the magazine from issue to issue, striving for originality and making sure 1000 Words is a distinct title from any other of its kind. Making the magazine different each time but still ensuring it´s signature stays the same is an interesting and fine balance.

What don't you like about the challenge of working in magazines?
Setting up and sustaining 1000 Words has been a tremendous amount of work for me to take on. I have to work evenings, nights, and quite often on the weekend in order to stay on top of everything, the negative upshot of which is this awful feeling of guilt I am burdened with for not being able to balance my professional and personal life. However, you have to push on through and keep telling yourself that all the hard work will pay off in the end. I know it sounds like a cliché but it is true. In the end, it is more than worth it. Also the need to constantly keep your finger on pulse can get a little tiring. Any honest editor will tell you that in order to follow the latest photographic trends one has to always be going to exhibitions, attending photo fairs, keeping an eye out for competition winners and reading other magazines in the sector which can at times make one feel incredibly overwhelmed, if not, slightly agitated.

In five years, what will you be working on?
I have big plans for 1000 Words. For example, I hope that, in five years time, we will have had at least a couple of printed publications under our belt with a world wide distribution to our name. Making a version in Spanish or Catalan is certainly an option as well so that I can communicate this project with the people I live among who don´t speak English and not just the people I left behind. As a side project, the curator, Pedro J Vicente Mullor and myself will be co-organising a string of exhibitions that will show work from the more emerging talents that we have featured in 1000 Words. We also plan to offer a portfolio review service that will operate on a more regular basis than what can normally be found once or twice a year at photography festivals. By taking place over the web it will not only be more affordable since it cancels out any travel expenses or hefty entrance fees but more effective and less stressful as it avoids any uneasy feeling of intimidation that participants usually experience at these events. Ultimately, we hope to become the primary resource for all things for photography on the web.

We are compiling answers from some of the most innovative magazine makers around the world today. Who else should we ask?
Next Level would be a good place to start. They have got an amazing thing going on there.

Finally, please give us a brief outline of your career:
I am a freelance writer and a practising photographer with a background in Photography and Visual Culture from Falmouth College of Arts and the University of Brighton, England. I was an exhibition tour guide at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol for a number of years before moving to Barcelona in 2004 where I have since worked as one of the art critics at the city´s magazine in English, The Metropolitan and collaborated with various photography magazines including Next Level, Foto8, HotShoe, Eyemazing, and Fotograf as their correspondent in Spain. In May 2008 I founded the online photography magazine, 1000 Words.

When and where did you start working in magazines?
Let me think....I suppose it could be traced back to when I was around ten or eleven years old. I remember inventing this dice game wherein I used to write commentaries about football matches for imaginary leagues of teams. I would even design their individual kits etc. Anyway, my point is that I compiled all these stories into what would become a magazine for that particular season, say 1988-89. It was nothing fancy, just a wad of lined paper stapled together that´s all. It sounds crazy I know, but as you can probably imagine, I was an only child and I quickly learnt how to keep myself entertained!

What are the most significant titles you've worked on?
All those listed previously.

What are you working on right now?
We are putting the second issue of 1000 Words together as we speak which, if we stay on schedule, will go live at the end of August. The large majority of time right now is taken up by liaising with the writers, chasing up images, negotiating advertising deals, updating the links section and what not. A new Multi-Media section will be added to the website in the near future which will consist of audio/visual interviews that we have done with different kinds of photographers in addition to some short documentary films too! As if that is not enough, I am currently preparing several presentations and talks that I have been invited to give towards the end of this year. They include, among others, a symposium at the Peace Museum in Guernika as part of the travelling exhibition, The Nuclear Project and also a photo-mag festival held at the University of Valencia where I will be speaking, in Spanish I might add, about 1000 Words and the performativity of the reader/viewer in relation to online magazines.

This interview was originally published on Colophon´s site here.

Jennifer Loeber

All images ©Jennifer Loeber

Jennifer Loeber recently wrote to me to let me in on the ideas and inspiration behind her stunning project, Zeig Mal. She explains:

"The idea to shoot nude portraits came about as I rode the NYC subway and pretended not to notice, across the aisle, a man fumbling to remove his clothes and expose himself to me. He looked distinctly uncomfortable yet wholly determined in his goal. His great drive to reveal himself to the commuting populace was made more palpable by the fact that he hadn't quite worked out the logistics. In turn, I also felt uneasy but intrigued to find myself an unwitting participant in what could be seen as an unusual collaboration. Can clues about a person's interior life be revealed through the harmony of discomfort?

Photographed within the landscape of my subjects' homes and bound by elements of voyeurism, these portraits capture the interaction between artist and subject; the external tension of internal narratives. Transformed by the unfamiliar, these friends, strangers and acquaintances quietly bare themselves (in more than one sense) within the self-awareness of another's gaze. Using only available light and documentary techniques, these portraits study the balance between the unseen and the exposed."

Her photographs first came to my attention via her in depth interview at Exposure Compensation here. It seems her work has been orbiting the blogosphere for quite a while now and has had some considerable press attention as you can see from another conversation here at The Gothamist as well as at the lovely Liz Kuball´s blog which you can find here.

Back on terra firma, this New York based photographer has been widely exhibited throughout the States. She received a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and her work was most recently seen at the White Wall Gallery in Michigan and the New Century Artists gallery in New York City. A print from her series Zeig Mal is currently being offered as part of a limited edition through The Humble Arts Foundation so go on be generous and support this great artist!

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Mohammadreza Mirzaei

All images ©Mohammadreza Mirzaei

Mohammadreza Mirzaei, a young Iranian photographer just starting out in his career, e-mailed me to tell me about his work. For this series (Encounters) he has taken pictures of tourists taking pictures, a subject which has lured many photographers to date, the most prolific being Martin Parr of course, but these are by no means as eccentric, garish or banal, nor are they as grim. Rather, Mirzaei has captured his fellow countryman and women for that matter, with a cool detachment to remind us of the photographer´s solitary state and as such appears to be alone in a foreign place.

Susan Sontag's words echo in the back of mind when looking at these photographs. She wrote in her often quoted book On Photography (1977):

"Travel becomes a strategy for accumulating photographs. The very activity of taking pictures is soothing, and assuages feelings of disorientation that are likely to be exacerbated by travel."
What emerges is the idea that people seem locked into their insatiable craving to take pictures while on holiday more so than the actual experience of the spectacle itself. I´m sure Mirzaei will go on to achieve great things and I look forward to seeing how he hones his photographic skills in years to come.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Colophon 2009

Colophon is a biennial symposium for magazine makers, experts, advertisers, readers and all creatives involved in the world of the independent magazine. This international event celebrates excellence and innovation, and promotes exchanges between key players within independent magazine industry.Launched in 2007, the second edition of Colophon will take place in Luxembourg from 13 to 15 March 2009, hosting exhibitions, talks, workshops, events and one-off publications, with more magazines, more attendees and a far more expansive programme than Colophon 2007. In short, it is the place to be for anybody involved magazines. 1000 Words Photography recently became a Media Partner and is proud to be one of 150 international magazines supporting Colophon.

Colophon 2009 is produced by Mike Koedinger in collaboration with Casino Luxemboug - Forum d'art contemporain.

Mike Koedinger, Luxembourg 's leading independent publisher runs a publishing media group dedicated to producing high quality magazines, corporate publications, guides and events for Luxembourg. With seven publications to his name, an advertising management company, a studio for editorial design and numerous events and websites, his group monitors the pulse of popular culture and society in the greater Luxembourg region.For more info go to

Its co-founder, Jeremy Leslie is Executive Creative Director at the John Brown Group, the UKs leading customer publishing agency. Previously he ran his own studio working for clients including Blitz magazine and The Guardian newspaper, and spent three years as group art director at Time Out. Leslie is a passionate advocate of editorial design, regularly contributing to the creative press and design conferences on the subject. He has written two books about magazine design: Issues (2000) and magCulture (2003), and designed the book We Love Magazines. He is deputy chairman of the newly formed Editorial Design Organisation in London, and a member of the executive committee of D&AD. He also maintains an outstanding blog about magazine design at

One of the other curators is Andrew Losowsky. For four years, he was editorial director of le cool publishing, based in Barcelona, overseeing the creation of their Weird and Wonderful Guidebooks to Barcelona, Amsterdam, London, Lisbon and Madrid, as well as the remarkable, award-winning inflight magazine Ling. A passionate commentator on magazines, design and unusual ways of telling stories, Losowsky has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Guardian, the Times of London and Grafik among many other publications. He edited the book We Love Magazines, and his collection of short stories, 'The Doorbells of Florence', will be published in Spring 2009 by Chronicle Books. He currently lives in the USA, and writes about magazine issues at

In the meanwhile, check out their two award-winning titles:

We Love Magazines

To accompany Colophon2007, they made a book. Inside, they have gathered amazing moments in magazine history, the stories behind successful covers, insider hints from advertising specialists, magazines we miss, new magazines, and they also gave each of the ten invited magazines at the event their own pages to show off what they do. Plus, at the back of the book they managed to squeeze in the largest directory of independent magazines ever printed – more than 1,100 titles from around the world, including all of their contact details. With ten different covers and seven colour printing, it's the essential read for anyone with a passion for print.


What better way to celebrate the first-ever Colophon than with a magazine? Edited by Andrew Losowsky and designed by Luis Mendo and Suzanne Hertogs, it's filled with contributions from attendees of Colophon2007, thoughts about the future of magazines, and objects left over from the event that have found a new home. Whether you attended or wished you had, Colophound is an essential addition to every magazine collection.

Copies can be ordered here and here.

Roll on Colophon 2009! 1000 Words CANNOT wait.

Anderson & Low at The Photographer´s Gallery, London

Anderson & Low - Circus
Private View 17th July 2008 / 18.30 - 20.30
Exhibition continues until 20th September 2008

Print Sales at The Photographers' Gallery presents Circus, a radical development in Anderson & Low’s studies of the relationship between the body, costume, performance and identity. The subjects are members of an international circus company that performs at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, photographed in their stage costumes and make-up in two related series, Portraits and Performance, shot in 2006 and 2008. These photographs demonstrate strength, beauty and skill, and emphasise the duality of the performer.

The publication Circus by Anderson & Low will be launched at that time and will be available through The Photographers' Gallery Bookshop, price £35. Signed prints from £2000, exclusive of vat and framing of course.

Saturday 12 July 2008

Hannah Collins at Caixa Forum, Barcelona

Installation view of La Mina

On show at The Caixa Forum at the moment are three multi-screen films and various photographs by ex-patriate British artist Hannah Collins, which have been brought together for the first time under the title, Current History: Films and Photographs. A former Turner Prize nominee, Hannah Collins graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 1979 and has since come to international prominence for her photographs that are at once monumental and intimate. While the subjects she photographs run the whole gamut (landscapes, cityscapes, interiors, still lives and the human figure), her specific concerns have remained constant throughout her career: the transience of modern life, home and homelessness, marginalised groups and urban spaces of modernity.

Assembling work undertaken in Spain, France, England, Italy and South Africa, these films effectively contain the same epic yet tender quality that is present in her still photographs. For the project, La Mina, Hannah Collins spent over a year photographing and filming in the vast housing estate that is located on the periphery of Barcelona, famous for its substantial gypsy population. Describing her work as “both sculptural and pictorial”, the resulting film which was compiled and edited from nearly 14 hours of footage, is far removed from the narrative conventions of mainstream cinema or documentary film since it defies any single viewpoint. Moreover, we are offered the opportunity for immersion into this five screen-installation that spans an entire gallery wall. The spectator has to adopt a certain gaze in order to take in this elaborate and rhythmic set of moving images organized around recurring motifs, fragmented perspectives and symbols of the city space. In this way, Collins eschews a fixed and narrow depiction but instead provides a rich examination of Gypsies as a culture and as a community, of whom she has said, “create such a separate and often alienated position in relation to the dominant forces at work in an urban Spanish context today.”

In a similar vein, Collins uses a multiple screen setup in her other work, Parallel, which cites the experiences of three people who all left behind a life in Africa in search of a better one in Europe. They each represent very different versions of immigration, their individual stories forming a complex group portrait of a wider social-economic situation. The third and final installment, Current History gives us a day in the life of several families living in the village of Beshencevo on the outskirts of Niznij Novgood in central Russia who, in the face of great change, seek solace in gambling, religion and superstition. This piece invites us to reflect upon these little pocket of resistance to modernity and at the same time demonstrate Collins´ sustained interest in place, memory and history. At once poetic and political, her art enlarges our understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our time beyond the confines of language.

Hannah Collins
Current History. Films and Photographs
Until August 24th

Tuesday 8 July 2008

Hannah Starkey book signing at Steidlville, London

Hannah Starkey will be doing a book signing session at Steidlville London 6.30 – 8.30pm Tuesday 8th of July, 2008. Yes, that is today folks so get yourselves along to Steidlville London, 36 Lamb's Conduit Street, London WC1N 3LJ.

Monday 7 July 2008

Frank Rothe at Arles. Pic of the month.

Here is a sneak peek at Frank Rothe´s new project, Lost in White Nights taken in St. Petersburg, Russia June 2008.

All images ©Frank Rothe

From the 8th to the 13th of July he will be in Arles
so you can meet me here during the opening night. Yet another great photography festival is already upon us!

Thursday 3 July 2008

Slideluck Potshow

Photographer, Casey Kelbaugh, wrote to me to introduce his amazing arts initiative called Slideluck Potshow. For all my readers in the States, I am sure you are familiar with what they get up to so apologies on this one but for those of you living this side of the pond, listen up! Slideluck Potshow is basically an event organised for members of the arts, photography and media communities wherein participants bring along food, drink and five minutes worth of slides. It is such a nice idea since it offers a unique place for photojournalists, painters, designers, sculptors, fashion and fine-art photographers to present their work and exchange their ideas with one another in an atmosphere that is both relaxed and friendly. It is also a brilliant opportunity to show off your culinary skills!

Slideluck Potshow is the brainchild of advertising and editorial photographer, Casey Kelbaugh who together with Producer Alys Kenny has organised over twenty shows in Seattle alone. Every year around three or four also take place in New York while its unprecedented popularity has seen it become something of a global phenomenon. They have put on shows in cities as far flung as Berlin and Copenhagen as well as in New Mexico. They also have one lined up for Caracas on August 15th and Sao Paulo soon after, although it is still to be confirmed.

They are also supporting PhotoShelter's Shoot! The Day which will mobilise photographers to "replenish" the stock photo supply. On July 20, 2008, thousands of photographers will take photos in five key image categories -- responding directly to buyer needs. Photographers will connect, learn, win prizes, and find new opportunities to sell their work. The fresh, diverse and authentic images captured on Shoot! The Day will change the image marketplace for good.

Events include:

- Shoot! Anywhere. Link up with photographers worldwide and shoot! Compete for prizes, recognition, and promotion to buyers.
- Shoot! On Location. 20 selected photographers will enjoy free, Nikon-equipped photo shoots.
- NYC Gathering. 500 photographers will come together at Shoot Digital in NYC for seminars with top experts, image buyers, hot product demos, and a "rocking" party.

To learn more about Slideluck Potshow go to their site where you can catch up on past events, study their submission guidelines and see the different ways you can support their brilliant forum for exposing new artists.

I´ll leave you know with a little video that Muse did. That´s Cara Phillips there by the way who I wrote about here on the 1000 Words Blog. Keep an eye out for her work, Poignant Longings for Beauty. Great stuff!

Wednesday 2 July 2008

Alec Soth

Alec Soth has to be one of the most articulate and thoroughly pleasant people working in photography today. I hope his words inspire you the same way they left an indeliable mark on me. Enjoy!

Keiko Hiromi

All images ©Keiko Hiromi

I was thrilled to get wind of these images from Keiko Hiromi, the strength and quality of which show great promise.

Keiko Hiromi is a photographer living in Dorchester, MA. She came from Japan to study in Boston 9 years ago. She graduated from New England School of Photography in 2005 and since then has been working on her series Monadnock Street, photographs of inner city Afro-Caribbean youth living life in her locality, Dorchester, MA. She has won many awards for this body of work, including Griffin Museum (Winchester, MA) and Project Basho (Philadelphia, PA) Emerging Artists Awards and has had it exhibited at many venues across America. Besides this excellent project, she has been currently working on another documentary story about the Religious community Twelve Tribe in Dorchester, MA since April 2008.

"My photography is always coming from a non-American point of view. Being Japanese, Photography has let me experience culture shock, led me to, at least, grasp my understanding of life, people and humanity. American life I photograph is much of a departure from the way I grew-up in Japan. Yet, I find myself feeling sentimental. I find myself connected to my subjects. These photographs are my testimony and experience of American society, culture and everyday life."
Hiromi represents an international vision. The impact of her work is evidence of how art can transcend cultural references without losing any of its specificity, or indeed, its power.