LOST IN PUBLICATIONS: how not to get lost in photography books

By Joaquín G. Novales. May 3, 2012


Golden ages aside, photography books have more and more enthusiasts every day. Thanks to the Internet, devotees have discovered the pleasure of knowing thousands of publications and authors. However, it is never easy to go beyond a symbolic and vertiginous knowledge. To study them in depth demands dedication to discover distribution channels and to devise systems that will capture and synthesize all that information. German photographer Sören Schuhmacher has created Lost in Publications, “trying to bring structure to the immense amount of photo publications”, in his own words.

The dynamics of Lost in Publications are simple: Schuhmacher picks a photographer and presents his/her bibliography and work. If that were all, it would simply be another project on photography books. But Lost in Publications is special for the great amount of documentation provided for each photographer. Schuhmacher searches the Internet for photos, videos, pages from books, interviews with the authors… and links them all together to create complete profiles that help us understand these photography giants in depth.

So far he has published eight profiles, with good judgement: Boris Mikhailov, Paul Graham, Rinko Kawauchi, Rineke Dijkstra, Rafal Milach, Vanessa Winship, Vivianne Sassen and Rob Hornstra. They don’t seem too many, but the project’s purpose is not the number of authors that can be collected. Lost in Publications moves away from the logic that prevails on the Internet, replacing the excitement of discovering new things for the purest pleasure of learning more about what we know and sorting out our ideas.

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