After many months of work, The Lost Rolls is now in print form. Both book and magazine to be exact. Why two publications? Let me explain the thought process. This project is atypical. Lost film dating back twenty-five-years is discovered, processed, scanned and edited. What emerges is a unique set of negatives, tired and tortured by time and chemistry. Atypical negatives. The photographer, Ron Haviv, and myself decided to roll the dice together. “Let’s make something.”
The FIRST thing we talked about was magazine. Why? Think about it. In the history of photography, especially reportage, the magazine holds a unique place. In some ways the magazine is the single most important print object in the history of photography. Life Magazine, Look Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Geo, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, etc., etc. The magazine is consumed differently than a book, treated differently than a book and also signifies a serial publication. We HAD to do something as tribute to this legendary print piece. So we did.
But inside of every photographer is a publisher trying to get out, and publishing photography is also married to the idea of book. Many people more intelligent than I will tell you that photography is best preserved, best told, in book form, and who am I to disagree. Shortly after we decided to create a magazine we also decided we needed a book.
Blurb is all about atypical publishing. Blurb is NOT a traditional publisher. The smart creative uses Blurb to do what they would never be able to do with a traditional publisher. They make multiple publications. They make the EXACT publications they want to make, and they do so in a timely manor. The creative is firmly behind the wheel making the decisions. Anyone with an audience and the ability to market has control over the life of their publications, utilizing both offset and print-on-demand, multiple formats and even digital publications to support print.
What we ended up with is what you can see here. Follow the links to see more and to purchase. These publications are a team effort. Editing by Robert Peacock. Design by Roger Gorman. Essays by W.M. Hunt, Lauren Walsh, Ron and myself. Also deserving a nod is the Blurb team including people in marketing, events, print ops, social, etc. Like all modern projects, there are many pieces moving on the behind-the-scenes chess board, and each piece is equally critical.
Imagine the editing required to make sense of this find. Imagine the design required to translate the edit into a workable, digestible read. Imagine the essays that might add context and history. Imagine the insight required from the photographer to fill in the historical blanks. Literally blanks because some of the imagery was utterly unfamiliar to him after seeing the negatives. And imagine the team required to hold it all together.
So now we “celebrate.” The magazine, in both English and French are available, as is the book. Next week we launch with an event in New York followed by a sister launch event in Paris. Follow these links to RSVP.
This project is about the analog era. It’s also about memory and the life of someone who dedicated himself to going where most of us would never consider going. This project is also about mystery, something sorely lacking in the modern, digital culture. The analog era, in some ways, was about the blind spot, faith, trust and frankly luck. When you combine those aspects you get M-Y-S-T-E-R-Y. Open the pages of this book, or these magazines, and you will see.