Pocket Books – Materialities: A Publication Focusing on the Physical Image

Pocketbook Series: Materialities (Vol.1)


Materialities focuses on the importance of the photograph as a material object, a physical testament, a document of occurrence, and of a past happening. The characteristic of the photo as an object has existed since the birth of the medium itself. Joan Schwartz described the daguerreotype as a mirror with a memory; not merely just an image but also an object. We create more photos than ever while printing far less than what would have been proportional a decade ago. This, a crisis of modern times, is the loss of our physical relationship with photos and the cultural subtexts embedded in the practice of possessing physical photos. It is with these sentiments in mind that we revisit and reconceptualize our current relationships to the materialities of images.

484 Manifestations of the Ordinary  (essay)


“Victor Buchli once said, “what in conventional western terms might be thought of as waste is actually a resource to be cared for and nurtured” (2010:111). This paper deals with a cache of ‘waste’, which I argue should be nurtured. A few years ago I came across a collection of 484 banal and aging Polaroids. This mosaic of images stands as witness to past happenings, events to which the actual site of experience and type of experience is unknown or unknowable. The original source of the photographs is estranged, we do not know if these images were stolen, given or purchased. I hope to stress the importance of the physical photograph as a testament, a show of occurrence, of a happening, with its importance influx at any one moment (Edwards & Hart ed. 2004:4). The 484 Polaroids are conscripted to act as a tool of exploration, a guiding compass towards the importance of the family album and found-objects. I will also discuss the importance of Polaroid images as photo-objects and family albums.”

Essays by: Derek Sayer, Erik Kessels, Jon Wagner, Craig Campbell, & Kyler Zeleny

Curated by: Kyler Zeleny

120 pages / 10.5 x 15 cm
Softcover, Perfect Bound
Limited Edition of 300

To get on board with Materialities click here.