This is a draft copy of my Branded Trash book. The book is not yet in its final form, and its content may still be subject to change. This includes the text, images, and layout. Therefore, please keep in mind that what you see in this draft copy is temporary and may not necessarily be the final version.
The tone of the book is not entirely set - the copy oscillates between personal, informative, slightly academic, and sometimes playful and silly, most of it is written by me, and the rest is AI-generated, which is a quite interesting and unforeseen addition that has arisen from the fact that Chat GPT has become available to the public whilst I was compiling the book. I think it adds a further layer of trash to the lot, ideological, philosophical trash.
The book is 25x25cm, it has double and quadruple folds, and the way it opens is marked on the bleed area on the fold in pink letters.
The paper should be non-glossy, relatively thick, and ink-absorbent, possibly different kinds of papers and different materials altogether to embody the diverse nature of the objects pictured.
I do have a huge moral dilemma about creating with this book additional unnecessary trash, and because of that, I'm thinking of keeping it as low impact as possible in terms of printing and materials, resulting in a more traditional printed photo book.
By doing that, though, I am afraid I might miss out on delivering a more impactful experience to the reader, given the book's obvious agenda - making people look at trash and, as a consequence, act about it, in a different and more conscious way.
We are sensory overwhelmed, and I often find it very difficult to be able to effectively communicate any ideas or concepts, not even the more obvious ones.
Because of that, I feel like I often need to double up on intensity and repetitions when communicating ideas. I am not the first or the last to realise that. Hitchcock was famously systematic in his repeating and disseminating of narrative elements throughout the unfolding of the story, from being quite subtle to being rather upfront in the way he would display them.
I believe that, especially when it comes to physical objects, such as books, tactility and sensorial experience are fundamental aspects of how effectively the information contained in the book is conveyed to the “reader/user/toucher” of that book. I do not agree that photographers should just use their images to communicate; I heard over and over the mantra (and Barthes’s punctum idea certainly contributed to that) that if an image is not able to be clear on its message, it is a weak image.
Well, it turns out that the world is fucking complex, and that idea maybe works for a world that is way simpler than the one we are experiencing today, and it is, in my opinion - a leftover of an era of photography that is now completely gone. I don’t think weak images even exist; if so, then reality is weak, and to be honest, I would agree more with that idea than devaluing the power of any photographs. We are stuck in a cult of the extraordinary, the exceptional, and the outstanding, to the point that we are often missing out on the “extraordinariness” of the everyday; the more and the longer one looks at something, the more exceptional details one will be able to find - this is not philosophy, this is a rather straightforward fact.
The book is overloaded with images, texts, and information, in which my photography, from a strictly photographic point of view - gets a bit lost. That is intentional and by design; I want to reiterate the message by creating different sensory associations. I am intentionally layering stimuli on stimuli, not to devalue my own work but to make the whole idea behind the book stronger by using all the tools I can possibly think of—not just a printed, distant, removed from reality image on a page. So I’d love to play with different materials, plastic, textiles, and metal somehow incorporating them in the final book - I am open to ideas.
The production cost of such a book would obviously go through the roof - but these are considerations for a later stage.
I’m sure my tangents have confused you even more, but please feel free to come back to me with any feedback you might have—your thoughts are precious.