Will Barras sent me over a copy of his fantastic new book, Yeah Man, and it’s almost too much to look at in one sitting. He is one of the purest talents I’ve encountered; I’ve seen him paint huge murals without so much as a sketch. He was one of my favourite artists long before we ever met, and I feel lucky to call him a friend. Do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of this thing. Have a peek inside the book, below.
After numerous prototypes, Kelli Anderson perfected a sequence of cuts and folds that could turn an ordinary piece of paper into a fully functional camera. The Book is a Camera is the ultimate pop-up experience: a book that not only explains how cameras work but actually becomes one!
The coolest part is you can support Kelli and purchase the book here but she specifically designed her pinhole camera under a Creative Commons share-alike license so you can also download the template yourself, build it, examine it, and use the knowledge to even make your own variant!
Kelli and I both spoke at Blend here in Vancouver and her talk was one of my favourites. She spoke about a wide variety of her past work including her counterfeit New York Times newspaper (she produced hundreds of thousands of copies and distributed it on the streets of New York), her amazing stop-motion tribute to the Eameses’ iconic film “Power of Ten” using images sourced from Google Images, and her paper record player/wedding invitations.
She’s the kinda person it’s almost hard to write about because she’s doing so many wildly different things. She’s currently working on a music video so stayed tuned for that!
More images and a video of her book/camera below!
For the last 15 years, Odyssey Works have specialized in single-audience performances: studying the life of a single individual and then orchestrating the kind of intimate and immersive experiences their audiences-of-one never forget. Many are said to go on to change jobs or commit to loved ones afterward. So who better to write a guide book for creating life-changing moments? Check out the video below for more information on their Kickstarter!
Heads up local people, Vancouver Art/Book Fair opens next week (October 17th-18th) at the Vancouver Art Gallery! Hooray! Last year’s event was amazing, and this year’s looks like it will be bigger and better with more than 70 exhibitors and great lineup of presenters.
The event is organized each year by Project Space, a non-profit dedicated to publication as an artistic practise. Translation: If you’re into books and zines you do not want to miss it! The Vancouver Art/Book Fair is actually the reason I got to be real life friends with Hugh from Landfill Editions after admiring what he does from afar for so long (we even went on a hike). So you might even make some new friends! Put it in your calendar.
One of my favourite tumblrs, Cabin Porn, has just released a book! In six years the blog has featured more than 12,000 hand built cabins, and the book chronicles more than 200 of these.
Can we take a moment to acknowledge that the guy in the image above has built himself a bicycle elevator! Watch elevator in action in the trailer below, which was photographed and edited by Noah Kalina.
One of my favourite photographers working today, Los Angeles’ Ryan Schude, just released his new book “Schude” and it’s gorgeous. If you’re at all familiar with his work then you can imagine how overwhelming it is to look at 192 pages of it in one sitting. Good news for all of you, I’ve got two copies to give away!
If you’re looking for more inspiration after you read this little interview, you should take a peek at his Instagram @ryanschude and study the work on his website. If you wanna leave a comment below with some encouraging words for Ryan, next Friday we’ll hook two of you up with his book. This particular giveaway is open to anyone in North America.
Jeff Hamada: If you’d never picked up photography as a hobby in school and continued onto business school like you planned, what sort of business would you be running now?
Ryan Schude: The mere speculation gives me anxiety but I do remember wanting to open a sandwich shop at some point and I could definitely see that as something I would enjoy.
JH: What would you call your sandwich shop?
JH: Are you an obsessive person? The detail in your work has a certain madness to it.
RS: During the planning and carrying out of a shoot, I can absolutely get a little obsessive. Overthinking things in general is sometimes an issue, for example, do we really need to discuss the pros and cons of 10 different restaurants before committing to dinner?
Collaboration with Lauren Randolph – Summer Camp (2012)
JH: It must be hard to know when to stop. Your images must require a significant amount of post work, are the ones with lots of different people in them single photos or are they all composites of several different shots?
RS: They are setup in an attempt to get it all in one frame. Everybody is there at the same time and placed in a predetermined spot according to sketches designed before the shoot. There is a process of directing their action and shuffling back and forth between the monitor and the actors to see what is working and what isn’t. By the end, you have a handful of options for each character and are able to select the best of them to composite together. Many of the shots take place at golden hour so it is crucial to get as much as you can in as few frames as possible to ensure the lighting is seamless when you put it together in post production.
JH: What role do you play on the actual shoot days, are you hands on with the camera or are you more of a director instructing a crew?
RS: It really depends on scope of the shoot. Ideally, you have a solid crew in place you can direct, otherwise you end up running around trying to get a hand on everything which can detract from simply focusing on the story.
Collaboration with Collins Schude, Callin Passero – The Promised Land (2010)
JH: Was it hard for you to build your team? I feel like finding the right people is the most crucial part of any project.
RS: The team is constantly fluctuating but I have been beyond fortunate to have worked with such amazing people thus far. This is one of the reasons I can’t imagine doing what I do in any other city in the world. Los Angeles is stuffed to the gills with people owning the best combination of open minds, creativity, and ambition.
JH: I feel like cinematic work like this inevitably gets compared to Gregory Crewdson’s, was it his work that influenced you to move away from documentary and more toward staging exactly what you wanted?
RS: I made a few short films in school before attempting to apply the same narrative techniques to a still photo. It was really a slow process from shooting editorial portraits and realizing I wanted to add a fictional element to them. It wasn’t until after I made Nog (2005), that a friend showed me Crewdson’s work and it was certainly encouraging to see what other people had done in that world.
JH: How much of a story do you write for each of the characters in a scene? And what’s something you might say to an actor or model to get what you want for the scene?
RS: Usually the character’s roles are pretty straightforward and there is one specific action in mind. It can get fun when they get into the role and suggest things you didn’t think of beforehand and you have more options to play with after. In Red House (2012), the actors playing the parents began improvising an entire argument and stayed in character the whole time while we directed their children outside which added a significant amount of emotion to their expressions and body language.
Collaboration with Justin Bettman – Red House (2012)
JH: I love that – do you play music at all on set?
RS: If there’s music it is probably an oldies radio station.
JH: Have you ever considered shooting moving picture of the actors holding their positions? Large video installations could be interesting.
RS: There was a very interesting concept built by an agency once around a car campaign which used my work as the inspiration for this exact output. The scale of the project ended up being too large for their budget but the possibilities presented were very exciting for both the agency and myself. Their idea involved an interactive website that zoomed in to each pocket of characters in a large tableau where you could scroll over the subjects to see an animated gif of their action. On a simpler level, I am currently looking into ways to shoot stylized video during the Them and Theirs shoots and have a narrative motion aspect to the portraits.
Annie McCain Engman and her 1969 Buick Skylark Special Edition. (2015)
JH: What’s the thing (art related or not) that you’re most proud of so far in your life?
RS: The relationships with my family and friends which have been so integral in developing who I am and what I have experienced both personally and professionally. The fact that I am able to wake up each day and do exactly what I want is a testament to the encouragement of those who surround me.
Ryan Schude’s new hardcover photo book “Schude”
“Birth of Venus” remake by Kevin Thom
“Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli
This summer we released our first-ever Booooooom book, “Remake”, chronicling our massive art project in which people all over the world re-created master works of art. Thank you to all the publications that have written about the book, the response has been unreal.
I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight a selection of the incredible submissions that did not end up in the final version of the book. In a perfect world, everyone’s work would have been printed in the book but I simply did not have the budget to secure image rights to all the original master works of art to be able to include everything (this was very painful for me during the editing process). I actually gave up my entire book advance from Chronicle Books to get the rights to as many works as I could.
Below are 50 terrific submissions to our remake project, none of which you will see as you flip through the book. Note: I arbitrarily picked the number 50 for this article; this list could probably be twice as long.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project, I am convinced that we have the most talented (and active) creative community on the Internet. Have a look at the works below.