Updated: Jun 18, 2020
Digital publishing offers an inclusive, affordable distribution network which makes ‘art photography' available to a wider audience than ever before ((Pijarski, 2018 p.25).. This is hugely important as it can make art and ideas available to a wider audience and broader demographics. Online exhibits, books, and webinars, to name just a few examples, have made photography accessible to a greater number of people. Digital publishing is an efficient and relatively inexpensive activity that should be in place at every company—big or small, established or emerging, to bring visibility and brand awareness.
Digital publications allow for the inclusion of scholarly content, external links, and further contextual material, without cluttering up the work itself - Pijarski
Michael Mack, founder of MAPP editions, is an example of a publisher who aimed to open up greater access to photobooks by publishing online. This has since been widely emulated by many more publishers and exhibitions of photobooks are not uncommon. This change within publishing has driven technical and creative skills, and new types of jobs have emerged. Digital publishing maximises accessibility to content at a minimal cost. This means unlike photo books and exhibitions, digital publishing allows for the inclusion of scholarly content, external links, and further contextual material, without cluttering up the work itself (Pijarski, 2018 p.24). The widespread access to technology and internet access has also furthered the accessibility of online digital publications, which is a positive aspect for digital publishing.
Digital publishing tends to cost less than publishing a book or staging a well-produced exhibition. However digital publishing does require the same amount of creativity in its production from a collaborative team of people. The online availability of digital publications also means that the public can access them when and where is convenient to them and there is only a minimal cost. I would definitely consider providing a digital publication if I were to host an exhibition or produce a physical photo book as I would want anyone who wants to have access to the material. If you create art it should be accessible to everyone and not be limited.
Prior to publishing material, it's important to first consider the ways in which it can be viewed by an audience: online or print?
The information age has brought a lot of amazing things, including the ability to share knowledge instantly across the world. One way of doing this that is being increasingly explored is by creating online exhibitions. Exhibitions give people access to new sources of information to learn and discover more about the world we live in. While often exhibitions audiences are limited to those who can travel there, online allows for more people to gain access. It is important that all exhibition spaces incorporate universal design so that it may be used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability. Universal Design is focused on the principle of universal use and aims to dramatically improves the use by everyone: children, people with disabilities, the ageing population, and everyone in between. However, Accessible Design is tailored to specific personal requirements and can create a more personalised environment for your needs.
Prior to publishing material it's important to first consider the ways in which it can be viewed by an audience: online or print? One must consider what are the similarities and differences between online blogs and print. Blogs are essentially regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style. In terms of production, blogs have low production costs and can be read for free whereas print has high production costs and often must be paid for in order to read. Blogs also usually only have one editor unlike print which requires professional editors and often contributors. The distribution network of blogs is also a lot easier and cheaper than print. A downfall to online blogs is that they require internet access and therefore electricity whereas print is always available. This comes down to the issue of accessibility and blogs might not be accessible to some of the older generation who may be without internet access.
Art is for everyone and should be enjoyed by everyone, and it is important that art is available for everyone.
Blogs are often more spontaneous in tone then print which is usually more thoughtful. Blogs also follow a ‘real-time’ production model. Print is the opposite, does not fit a ‘real-time’ production model, and requires a production process. The main benefit of print in my opinion though is the fact that the paper involves and engages most of our senses: sight, touch and smell. Also the use of our photographic memory compliments print form over online form as we remember its physical form. But photographic memory doesn't work well with a display screen, which is dynamic, in a state of constant change. The digital revolution has left us questioning the future of print and it seems more uncertain than ever.
I have always had a preference for information in print. However, I do understand the importance of easily accessible information online in the form of blogs too. I think it's important to support the print format as it can hold value into the future and can be passed down through families. Paper and quality ink lasts longer so far than any digital storage format or play technology. In an ideal world, art would be free for everyone. However art, like everything else, costs money; artists need funding. Despite this art is for everyone and should be enjoyed by everyone, and it is important that art is available for everyone.
Ardiff, Z. (2020) 'Being human-centred' in Curating Photography: Poolside. TU Dublin: BA Photography [Online]. Available at (Pijarski, 2018 p.24).
Pijarski, K. (2018). ‘On photography’s liquidity, or, (new) spaces for (new publics)’, in Rastenberger, A.K. and Sikking, I. (eds.) Why Exhibit? Positions on exhibiting photographs. Amsterdam: Fw Books.
Ludovico, A. (2018). Post-Digital Print, The Mutation of Publishing since 1894. Eindhoven: Onomatopee.
National Gallery of Ireland, Moment in Time exhibition. Available via YouTube https://www.nationalgallery.ie/art-and-artists/exhibitions/moment-time-legacy-photographs-works-bank-america-collection Accessed 4th April 2020.
Dazed magazine's online photography exhibitions are free and easily accessed. Available at www.dazeddigital.com/art-photography. Accessed 2nd April 2020
Ffasiwn a fashion documentary video shot in the South Wales Valleys. Available at https://theface.com/culture/the-valleys-wales-documentary-photography-charlotte-james-clementine-schneidermann-martin-parr. Accessed 4th April 2020.