The book’s space interviews: III


02 nov The book’s space interviews: III

Book: III
Photographs: Robin Maddock
Book design: Robin Maddock
Editor: Trolley Books
Date of publishing: 2011
N° of copies: 1500
Dimensions: 17×25 cm
Binding: Traditional sown, hardcover
Paper: Fedrigoni Tatami Ivory


Which are the 5 indispensable pictures for this book?

Photographer: Milky shoes. Phone box. cover image. Record store. Ball floating on paper sheet.

What is the framed structure of this book?

P: I wanted to find a way to put new signs into the American landscape. It is so loaded with cliches, yet i find so exciting to walk in and play with. I wanted to make connections between images where the logic seemed there, but intangibily so. A way of adding to a canon and messing with it at the same time.

How did you choose your book designer?

P: The narrative was so arbitary, the whole process was simplified by doing it myself.

What was your approach to get into the photographic project?

P: It came about by thinking how to photograph the American landscape in a different way and enjoy myself there at the same time. I wanted to take the ‘now’ the ‘social’ out of my work for a moment to produce something free from obvious responsibility.

How did you develop the work on the book?

P: I made four trips to California, LA and SF and one to New York. I enjoy stepping back and living things time to digest before I go again. Whatever project I’m doing, I walk long distances in the city and try to understand things that way. My feet are just starting to give me problems! The edit was made on the floor of a flat in Riga, Latvia in the middle of winter and was a lot harder than I expected. Luckily I had an understanding friend.


Which narrative slant did you choose for this book and why?

P: 3 forms that start separately but to blend into each other and then become confused with the landscape. The narrative is about pure photographic/ geometric seeing in a cultural landscape full of older signs at the same time. Pictures can only be of the time, so I hope there’s a weird tension, as it flits between the two realms. The narrative starts as 3 linear journeys then hopefully comes together forming something quite different. I.e. it’s not about milk, ping pong or paper but about trying to make something happen to the space. Even though the parts are in way homage, in this case I made up the song. I want narrative to work as music that makes images dance, this is my interest and why I love making books.

What’s the difference between the book and the photographic project slant?

P: The book is fixed for good and bad, the project is re-made in exhibition everytime. The shows I see as a chance to re-imagine the work, obviously with this work to see all the parts together at once affects the readings. I enjoy adding new pictures that are outside the book, as well, if I feel they missing. Shows are also about the stand alone there-ness of the print too. So I print them myself and enjoy the hands-on aspect and immediacy of that.


How did you choose the materials and the kind of printing?

P: The good folks at Grafiche Antiga help me with their experience and range of options. We wanted a specific feel and did a lot of tests on different papers to get there. Its so exciting to be on press and see the actual final pages. Now I need to improve my italian, thats all!

How the materials’ choices are connected to the photographic project?

P: Well in this case, I wanted to produce something that could have been made a while ago. So it allowed me a bit more indulgence to select the materials and at the same time that be appropriate to the work, not just make something overly designed.

You can also find all the interview archive on 3/3 blog: