photobooks as sequential archives

Researching photobook publishing through integration of photographic and book art practices

The investigation into the creation of photobook works is a continuum of my practice as artist-curator working with photographic archives. A research question underlies my projects: What is distinctive about the photobook as a medium to elicit visual narratives from photographic archives? The practice shows that an integration of photographic and book art practices creates interactive space-time sequences that are unique and otherwise not available in the administrative archive.

Two research projects explore the potential of archives of orphan photographs as source for photobook publishing and display:
Orphan Editions— photobooks sourced from the Found Photo Foundation, my own photographic archive;
Torn, Folded, Curled— photobooks sourced from Beirut-based Arab Image Foundation photographic archive.
In these projects I investigate the photobook‘s visual sequencing structures as generative of historical knowledge and memory.

My own imprint —msdm publications—aims to create a small-scale model of photobook publishing, guided by artistic research and the investigation of both formal and conceptual aspects of the photobook medium. High-quality limited editions—in these days of automated print on demand— makes for a distinctive approach to photobook publishing.

The research has impact on the ways it sits in the public domain. msdm publications are:
1-included in international public book art collections and exhibitions;
2- made available to the audiences: working collaboratively through workshops, with first-time photobook publishers, and art and humanitarian organisations, supporting them in exhibiting and publishing their photographic archives.

In the aim of disseminating knowledge, the research was presented at
The Order and Collapse Lives of Archives Conference at the University of Gothenburg and its critical theoretical perspective published on a peer-reviewed monograph (2016);
The Archive: Visual Culture In The Middle East symposium at the Lebanese American University, School of Architecture & Design, 2019. (publication forthcoming)