Print: Magic City Two

Milnor_Magic_City_2002

There is life before meeting Chloe Ferres and a different life after. A box of ingredients goes into the mail, travels across the seas to sunburned Australia, and what comes back is always a visual wonderland. “Magic City Two” is no exception. The second collaboration between Miami based Andrew Kaufman, Chloe and myself. I did very little on this publication. Sick, tired and busy does not make for a good collaborator, but these other two more than made up for my puny efforts. For me, these books are wildly interesting and are every bit as important as any book I’ve done or will ever do. There is something so fascinating about coming up with an idea, working on that idea and then engaging with others to make it more than what you could have done on your own. There is still a place in the world for the monograph, albeit a downsizing place, and these small, fluid publications, for me, are so much more fun to think about, dream up and complete. There are no limits here, no long timelines, no budget restrictions, just permission to do anything you can imagine. I guess I’m an oddball. I don’t look at these books and think about massive sales, revenue or fame. I think about what it felt like to make the pictures, to have the conversations and to see these things unfold, LITERALLY, on these pages. All I can think about now is…what’s next? As you can see, this is a book designed to be FOLDED. Those creases you see in the spreads aren’t white space but rather the edges of the pages folded to reveal a secondary image only completed by making the fold. Insanely creative design from Chloe. The folds create new spreads from the parts and pieces of others. Yesterday I showed this to a half dozen people who all asked “Where do I get it?” And this leads to the final point. Neither Magic City One or Magic City Two is for sale. We decided the books are too personal to be sold to strangers, so the only way to get one of these babies is to have a personal experience with one of us. I know this might seem strange from the outside, but for some reason it feels right.

Thanks to Kaufman for these snaps of the book.

THIS JUST IN: “Magic City Two” has been chosen as a finalist for the “One for the Books” prize as the Ballarat International Foto Biennale in Australia.

6 Comments on “Print: Magic City Two”

  1. That’s awesome.

    I have a theory that there is too much Art. Not more than there ought to be, never. But too many really talented people making too much genuinely good work for the old system to make sense.

    It’s got to become local, it’s got to go small in audience. There’s simply not room in the gallery/collectors/museums system for all this awesome.

    Step past the idea of ‘making it big’ and focus on making it good. If by some chance you find a way to build a life around it, great. If not, do what you can. Everything is changing and we don’t know where we’re going and that’s OK. We hope!

    1. Andrew,

      Interesting point of view. When someone goes from loving something to do that said thing for a living, most of the time, something changes. Some enjoy the change while many feel like something good has been left behind, regardless of success level. I’ve seen plenty of great photographers become unhappy problem solvers who view jobs as obstacles to be overcome. Bookmaking for history’s sake can become the same thing. Doing what Andrew and Chloe and I did is the antithesis of this process. Dream it up, first and foremost, and then sort out the rest.

  2. I agree, Andrew. There is too much — of everything. That’s why I really only design for an audience of one, if anyone else wants to take a look they can stand in the aisle, but if it’s on my bookshelf then my work is done.

  3. Very cool, very fresh, very refreshing. Nice work you three!

    …and I really like and agree with the whole ‘not for sale, only for gifting’ philosophy. It keeps any ideas of money and profit out of the equation so the creative side can remain pure of heart!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *