Surfaces and Strategies Week 7, Publications and ZInes / by Chris Chucas

Week 7


This week we’ve been asked to look at the publication and making a dummy book. I have had a slightly different journey with my book. I talked about living amounst images briefly in the first module. I’ve been working constantly and printing of a fre of my faviourote images via my laser printer in monotone. Its not great quality and it does have the draw back of not being able to print colour images. It does fit in however with the aesthictic and converntions of zines. Zines and Photobooks are something that I have been researching and looking at as well as a more professional looking photobook for quite some time. This module and how its asking us to look at these surfaces are pushing me to formulate ideas which have been brewing for some time.

©Chris Chucas-CRJ 4028  August 28, 2017 Falmouth University Ma Documentary Photography.jpg


I think that a publication can be beneficial to me in my practice to reach audiences. I’m at a lot of shows and zines are a staple at most merch tables. If I were to produce a zine it would be very accssbale and natural sitting amounst others at shows. Most of the time the zines are made by record labels or groups of band members themselves. If I were to produce a zine and hand it out ( or sell it at cost price) then that could include some information about my project, my intentions and ultimately help me make contact with new people I’venot yet worked with.

Although I consider myself a member of the community, some people don’t know me. I feel that there are some people who would be weary of a photographer as I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts. I feel that a publication could serve as a reference almost. If others, See my work and people I’ve worked with along with a project statement it could serve as an informal reference perhaps. Like I’ve talked about several times before, building a good relationship and trust with people is paramount to my practice and one of the issues I have is that some people in wider circles outside of the people I already know may feel slightly apprehensive and that means I can’t produce as much work.


A few weeks ago I had made a rudimental zine. You can download the pdf here.


Design issues..


I’ve had a few people give me feedback on it. One factor that I am aware of is that being a working photographer, video producer and editor I have become slightly indoctrinated to conventional design rules. I say this because I always aim for a clean and easy functionally text fit for its purpose in different arenas, mainly commercial video and photography. After getting some feedback from lecturing staff that wasone thing that jumped out. The text, font used and design was very non art. The way that I had layed out images was also picked up on. A4 sheets folded into an A5 zine so that each spread had 2 images stacked vertically on each side. I don’t know how to arrange in another way. I’ve tried and it feels very staged and un organic when I do. One suggestion was to print out the images, cut them, glue or tape them into a master copy and then scan that copy to print the rest. I feel like that’s a lot of extra work that’s taken me away from acatually shooting more work. On top of that I don’t own a scanner so it would involve me buying one or driving out to a place with one and paying to use it. This isn’t that viable so I’m going ahead with two plans. The first is to produce a zine as a publication like I have done but making adjustments and taking on feedback for things that I can change without extra equipment. The second is to experiment with the hard copy dummy book which will develop into a more formal photobook which will be in addition to the zine.


As I see it I think the zine could be published for the exhibiton but also has in editions perhaps quarterly or annually.



I could potentioally ask other members of the community to contribute with guest writer spots. This seem slike a good idea but I am approaching it with slight trepidation as I have slight concerns on how the text could be detracting form the work and also how it could be conflicting depending on the writer and subject


Another idea I thought of was to have a part of it as a potential collaboration. Definatly not he whole issue but a part of it. Maybe a feauter. I have old dslr kit I can hand out and let contributors make there own image to submit.


I deifinnatly feel like theres scope for this to prgoross over the long term but I have a good base to start with for now. I’m excited to see it’s reaction.