She looks better in pictures

Taking a snapshot used to be a casual but somehow meaningful act. Yet today, the omnipresent smartphones have turned it into a completely insignificant act. Snapshots are no longer made as references for future memory but are made for the moment only to be immediately replaced by the next, never to be looked at again. Scenic landscapes, historic towns, even works of art are mere stage sets for selfies and social media influencers. She looks better in pictures is a reflection on the work of art in the age of Instagram. It presents photographs made in front of the Louvre’s most popular attraction: the painting known as La Gioconda or Mona Lisa.  
2019
digital print, color
21 x 21 cm, 720 pages
hardcover, sewn
25 copies
160 €

X Marks the Spot

Dallas, Texas, Dealey Plaza. The site where John F. Kennedy was assassinated is a major tourist magnet. White Xes on the pavement mark the spots where the president was fatally shot – in the middle of a freeway on-ramp. Visitors often wait for a gap in traffic, hurry to one of the Xes, get their photos taken and leave the road before the next cars arrive. Some of those photos end up in online photo sharing sites such as Flickr, with captions along these lines: “I don’t know why I felt the need to stand by the X but judging from everyone else, it would appear to be the thing to do.”
A webcam is positioned in a window on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository, the site where, on November 22, 1963, an assassin allegedly fired the shots that killed Kennedy as the presidential motorcade passed through Dealey Plaza. The camera’s perspective exactly matches that of the assassin: it now shoots the tourists shooting their own memorial photos, and we can watch this in real time.
The book combines snapshots taken by tourists at Dealey Plaza with footage from the webcam.
2013
digital print, colour
14.8 x 10.5 cm, 84 pages
softcover, sewn
100 copies
second edition 2014: 100 copies
out of print

Archiv

Archiv (1986–1999) is an analytical survey of international vernacular photography through the course of 20th century consisting of assortments of images – snapshots, studio photos, postcards, commercial photos, photos of missing people, newspaper images – grouped and classified according to their similarity on panels. The panels highlight the mechanical uniformity and conformity of image production, the collective patterns and rituals of popular photographic representations. The project is a history, a commentary, and a celebration of the mundane weirdness of commonplace photography.
The entire project consist of 726 panels, the book includes a selection of 53 panels.
2014 (the 2013 print-on-demand edition is discontinued)
digital print, colour
21 x 14.8 cm, 56 pages
softcover, saddle-stitched
50 copies
8 €

Found on Flickr

This book is the printed version of a weblog published from August 2008 through December 2009 when I explored the realm of the photo hosting site Flickr while working on the project Other People’s Photographs. The book includes photos found on Flickr, observations, comments, and questions that emerged in the process. It can be read as a casual journal that provides an insight into the making of the project.
2013
print on demand, b/w
21.5 x 14 cm, 272 pages
softcover, perfect bound
open edition
16 €

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Photography

The internet is flooded with billions of snapshots, many of which are hosted on photo sharing websites like Flickr. With millions more added every day, we often wonder why people decide to take these pictures, why they save them, why they put them on public display. You’ll find answers to all these questions in this book. In addition, you’ll also find answers to questions you never asked.
2012
print on demand, b/w
17.5 x 11 cm, 80 pages
softcover, perfect bound
open edition
12 €

Awesome Errors, Dreadful Glitches

The internet is flooded with billions of snapshots, many of which are hosted on photo sharing websites like Flickr. With millions more added every day, we often wonder why people decide to take these pictures, why they save them, why they put them on public display. Awesome Errors, Dreadful Glitches is about the photographic errors, mistakes, glitches, and malfunctions that so many find fascinating. Contrary to popular belief, people do not simply delete pictures when they go wrong, they often develop an affection and curiosity for them, uploading them to photo sharing sites in huge numbers and helping create an apparently booming sub-genre of photography.
2012 (the 2012 Blurb edition is discontinued)
print on demand, b/w
17.5 x 11 cm, 80 pages
softcover, perfect bound
open edition
12 €

American Photographs

Walker Evans’ American Photographs is considered by many to be one of the most important photobooks ever published. Made on the occasion of his one-man show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1938 – the first MoMA exhibition devoted to the work of a single photographer – the book went on to influence generations of photographers.
This remake of a classic explores the possibility that in the past decades, almost everything has been photographed and that in the photographic universe anything we wish to see is readily available to us. Drawing on the constantly growing resource of online photo hosting sites and using the original captions of Evans’ celebrated photographs as search terms, this new edition of American Photographs offers a modern equivalent of Evans’ masterpiece, compiled entirely of found photographs and created with the help of a search engine instead of a camera.
2011
print on demand, colour
18 x 18 cm, 110 pages
softcover, perfect bound
open edition
36 €

Seventy-Five Are Better Than Thirty-Two

Millions of tourists travel to New York City every year. Many of them visit the Museum of Modern Art. Many of them take photographs inside the museum. Many of them show Andy Warhol‘s thirty-two pictures of Campbell‘s soup cans. Thousands of these snapshots are to be found on photo sharing sites. Seventy-five of them are collected in this book – works of art in the age of digital photography.
Nearly forty years after Warhol made his Mona Lisa paraphrase Thirty Are Better Than One he might well agree today that seventy-five are better than thirty-two.
2011
print on demand, colour
18 x 18 cm, 160 pages
softcover, perfect bound
open edition
40 €

But Is It Art?

The internet is flooded with billions of snapshots, many of which are hosted on photo sharing sites like Flickr. With millions more added every day, we often wonder why people decide to take these pictures, why they save them, why they put them on public display. Studying the captions and descriptions of these photographs we see a variety of reasons for their existence. But is it Art? is a new addition to my series of black books exploring the realm of online photo hosting sites. The book contains images that are screenshots, specifically from the website Flickr. Each image shows people’s attempts at creating photography “after”, “based on”, “in the style of” or “inspired by” well-known artists, to varying degrees of success. As individual attempts these samples may be charming, hilarious or bold (and sometimes embarrassing), as a group they raise more interesting questions of originality and authorship.
But Is It Art? was shortlisted for the 2011 Artists’ Book of the Moment award.
2012 (the 2010 Blurb edition is discontinued)
print on demand, b/w
17.5 x 11 cm, 120 pages
softcover, perfect bound
open edition
12 €

Joachim Schmid Is Martin Parr · Martin Parr Is Joachim Schmid

In September 2009 Martin Parr sent me his VIP pass to the Berlin Art Forum, that he had recently received and knew full well, he would be unable to attend. I saw this as an opportunity to visit the fair and take photos in the spirit of Martin Parr. I was to be Martin Parr for the 23rd September. For those that know anything about my work, this must be a surprise, as my career in the art world is based entirely on orchestrating other people’s photographs.
I then invited Martin to be Joachim Schmid, and he decided to trawl through the “Martin Parr, We Love You” group on Flickr. This was established a few years ago as a forum for photographers who had been seemingly influenced by his photographic language. So in the spirit of Joachim Schmid, Martin looked for the most “Parr-like” images. The resulting two sets of images are what you will find on the pages of Joachim Schmid is Martin Parr · Martin Parr is Joachim Schmid.
2009
print on demand, colour
18 x 18 cm, 40 pages
softcover / hardcover with dust jacket
open edition
28 / 36 €

In Dialogue

This book is the result of an experimental process of non-verbal communication. Between November 2008 and January 2009, Marcelo Brodsky and me had a dialogue without any words, without any emphasis on a particular subject, without any pre-conceived ideas — a dialogue about nothing. The two of us took turns exchanging photographs by email, each one a direct response to the previous one, creating a continuous and meandering photographic ping-pong through the visual universe. Despite the lack of obvious subject matter the resulting sequence of photographs creates meaning. For the viewers it is an invitation to retrace the decisions made by two brains working in visual rather than verbal mode.
2009
print on demand, colour
18 x 18 cm, 40 pages
softcover / hardcover with dust jacket
open edition
28 / 36 €

Bilder von der Straße

Bilder von der Straße (Pictures from the Street) is a thirty-year project which began in 1982 and ended in 2012. During this time I picked up one thousand lost or abandoned photographs from the world’s pavements. Although the collection has been exhibited widely, this is the first time it is printed as a complete set. Published in four volumes, the books present every found photograph or its fragments in their original size and in the chronological order they were discovered. No artistic intervention has taken place except for the inclusion of the date and location where each picture was found. As well as providing a record of my travels, the books document people’s use and abuse of photographs, with almost all the photographs in the collection depicting people and more than half of these being ripped or defaced in some way.
This act of discarding or destroying individual photographs seems to point to a desire to eliminate memories of specific moments in people’s lives. By encouraging viewers to imagine the stories of the people depicted, the project raises questions about the emotionally-charged events that could warrant such destruction. I consider this collection to be a social documentary consisting of both visual artefacts and human documents. Produced in a systematic manner, it is an inventory of lost photographs and memories that hint at the mysteries of people’s private lives and at their attempts to document and destroy them.
2012 (the 2009 Blurb edition is discontinued)
print on demand, colour
29.7 x 21 cm, 4 volumes in a box, 256 pages each
softcover, perfect bound
open edition
240 €

Cool Pictures, Cool Stuff

The internet is flooded with billions of snapshots, many of which are hosted on photo sharing websites like Flickr. With millions more added every day, we often wonder why people decide to take these pictures, why they save them, why they put them on public display. Studying the captions and descriptions of these photographs we see a variety of reasons for their existence. One of them is simple, striking and apparently quite popular: “I thought it looked cool.” There is an incredible number of photographs on Fickr that people have taken because they thought something looked ‘cool’. 
The book consists of 116 images based on various perceptions of what people consider to be ‘cool’. Each picture is accompanied by the photographer’s original caption. The resulting collection of images is very revealing and often hilarious.
2012 (the 2009 Blurb edition is discontinued)
print on demand, b/w
17.5 x 11 cm, 120 pages
softcover, perfect bound
open edition
12 €

When Boredom Strikes

The internet is flooded with billions of snapshots, many of which are hosted on photo sharing websites like Flickr. With millions more added every day, we often wonder why people decide to take these pictures, why they save them, why they put them on public display. Studying the captions and descriptions of these photographs we see a variety of reasons for their existence. One of them is simple, striking and apparently quite popular: boredom. There is an incredible number of photographs on Fickr that people have taken just because they’ve been bored. 
The book assembles 156 photographs made on account of boredom. Each picture is accompanied by the photographer’s original caption. In stark contrast to the title this book isn’t boring at all, but very revealing and often hilarious.
2012 (the 2009 Blurb edition is discontinued)
print on demand, b/w
17.5 x 11 cm, 160 pages
softcover, perfect bound
open edition
12 €

Arcana

Arcana is a series of photographs made from discarded and damaged negatives that have been collected over a long period of time from many cities. These abandoned images have either been rejected or lost by their original owners. Removed from their original context and scratched by the streets they were dropped on, we are given a rare, altered glimpse into the everyday lives of strangers. There is a kind of violence in the degraded objects these negatives have become, but also a beauty. The book includes the entire series of 45 photographs.
2014 (the 2009 print-on-demand edition is discontinued)
digital print, b/w
21 x 14.8 cm, 48 pages
softcover, saddle-stitched
50 copies
8 €

The Showbag Book

This book is composed of snapshots found on the many sites of the world’s ever-growing online picture pool. Each book is customised for the individual buyer, containing 24 to 240 pages. There are no two identical copies of The Showbag Book. The books are priced at 2 € per page and range from 24 to 240 pages. Please specify the desired number of pages when ordering your copy.
Print on demand, hardcover with dust jacket, 18 x 18 cm, 24 – 240 pages, 20 – 236 photographs, 48 – 480 €
2008 ongoing
print on demand, colour
18 x 18 cm, 24–240 pages
hardcover with dust jacket
unique editions, signed
48 – 480 €
email orders only

Other People’s Photographs (2008–2011)

Assembled between 2008 and 2011, this series of ninety-six print-on-demand books explores the themes presented by modern everyday, amateur photo­graphers. Images found on photo sharing sites such as Flickr have been gathered and ordered in a way to form a library of contemporary vernacular photography in the age of digital technology and online photo hosting. Each book is comprised of images that focus on a specific photo­graphic event or idea, the grouping of photographs revealing recurring patterns in modern popular photography. The approach is encyclopedic, and the number of volumes is virtually endless but arbitrarily limited. The selection of themes is neither systematic nor does it follow any established criteria — the project’s structure mirrors the multifaceted, contradictory and chaotic practice of modern photography itself, based exclusively on the motto “You can observe a lot by watching.”
The series Other People‘s Photographs includes these titles: Airline Meals · Airports · Another Self · Apparel · At Work · Bags · Big Fish · Bird’s Eyes · Black Bulls · Blue · Bread · Buddies · Cash · Cheques · Cleavage · Coffee · Collections · Colour · Commodities · Contents · Currywurst · Damage · Digits · Documents · Dogs · Drinks · Encounters · Evidence · Eyes · Faces in Holes · Fauna · Feet · First Shots · Fish · Flashing · Food · Fridge Doors · Gathered Together · Gender · Geology · Hands · Happy Birthday · Hotel Rooms · Images · Impact · In Motion · Indexes · Information · Interaction · Kisses for Me · Lego · Looking · Maps · Mickey · Models · More Things · Mugshots · News · Nothing Wrong · November 5th, 2008 · Objects in Mirror · On the Road · Parking Lots · Pictures · Pizza · Plush · Portraits · Postcards · Purple · Pyramids · Real Estate · Red · Room with a View · Self · Sex · Shadow · Shirts · Shoes · Silvercup · Sites · Size Matters · Space-Time · Statues · Sunset · Surface · Targets · Television · The Other Picture · The Picture · Things · Trophies · Tropic of Capricorn · Various Accidents · Wanted · Writings · You Are Here.
2008–2011
print on demand, colour
18 x 18 cm, 36 pages each
hardcover with dust jacket
open edition, numbered and signed
price on application
email orders only
see also the 2 volume paperback version

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⟩Knipsen⟨. Private Fotografie in Deutschland von 1900 bis heute

Catalogue of a touring exhibition drawn on Archiv
1993 by Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Berlin/Stuttgart
offset, colour
29.7 x 21 x cm, 80 pages
softcover
out of print

English text supplement Taking Snapshots. Amateur Photography in Germany from 1900 to the Present
1993 by Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Berlin/Stuttgart
offset, b/w
29.7 x 21 x cm, 20 pages
softcover
out of print

Zur Theorie der Fotografie (1986)

For the series On the Theory of Photography I re-photographed the reverse sides of selected fleamarket snapshots with inscriptions by their former owners. In these short phrases we can catch a glimpse of popular understanding of photography and its forms of use in society. We can consider these naive descriptions and observations as the raw material for a theory of popular photography that has yet to be written.
Installation with 36 framed b/w photographs

Archiv (1986–1999)


^ Archiv #1, 1986


^ Archiv #74, 1988


^ Archiv #103, 1990


^ Archiv #190, 1992


^ Archiv #227, 1992


^ Archiv #248, 1992


^ Archiv #253, 1992


^ Archiv #266, 1992


^ Archiv #317, 1993


^ Archiv #606, 1994


^ Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery,
Saratoga Springs 2007

Archiv is an analytical survey of international vernacular photography through the course of 20th century consisting of assortments of images – snapshots, studio photos, postcards, commercial photos, photos of missing people, newspaper images – grouped and classified according to their similarity on panels. The panels highlight the mechanical uniformity and conformity of image production, the collective patterns and rituals of popular photographic representations. The project is a history, a commentary, and a celebration of the mundane weirdness of commonplace photography.
The project consists of 726 panels, 40 x 50 cm each.
146 panels were in the traveling exhibition ⟩Knipsen⟨. Private Fotografie in Deutschland von 1900 bis heute (Taking Snapshots. Amateur Photography in Germany from 1900 to the Present). They are now in the archive of Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Stuttgart.
580 panels are in the collection of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY.
A catalogue is available in the series of white books.