The photography book is a decaying carcass as we know it, ready for the carrion cleaners. Perhaps not the physical object, but its traditional and historical means of production, its Marxian raison d’être. We, not as bookmakers but as book publishers, are dying off.

Good riddance.

I, for one, am anxious for the medium to die. I am tired or bored of being inundated with spectacular and amazing feats of project layout and binding for ever-dwindling audiences.

Now, the economic collapse of the past nine months has killed any opportunity for those most likely to benefit from exposure to the best of these tomes and the reasons why they came into being. The book retail business is fast evolving from wonderment emporiums to Strawberry™ and The Limited®, strip mall holding-pens of mass produced, mass marketed books with words to help with taxes, your weight, and myriad re-combinations of various peoples’ uninteresting lives watching cartoons in the 60s and 70s.

As a photo book publisher, I am suffering with this transition, but I am not really unhappy. I am sort of pleased with the outlook. It will mean the death of traditional publishing businesses, but it will be, perhaps not
phoenix-like, but rather crocodile-like: the slow, lumbering adjustment to new temperatures, marine vistas, wholly new islands, and a past newly submerged. It will be a chance to compete in a new arena, developing a taste for new sources of protein and sustenance, a chance to take to waterways and even swimming pools not envisioned for our habitation- a chance to evolve.

This new online collection of images and text, and this new festival of the most interesting by the most interesting among us, the meeting and gathering and talking and witnessing and, this new interest in making special direct-for-auteur editions (or for a tight club of aficionados, visual poems and treats)—this is the new landscape our sleepy evolved crocodile head is being exposed to as we crack open the shell. We will join it and feed from it. We are hungry.

Daniel Power
CEO, pH Reptilian Evolutionary Project
Co-Founder, New York Photo Festival