Shutdown – The Zine.

To accompany my exhibition work, the series of three photographs called Shutdown, I created a small zine that contained the three displayed images and the some of the shortlisted works that I decided not to use in the show.

The exhibition was part of our Level 5 Practice module and was held at the Eagle Works, Wolverhampton in their project space. The title of the exhibition was Timeless Perspectives as most of the work by the seven photographers involved time as an aspect.

My series, Shutdown was linked to time due to the fact that I was capturing images made after normal working hours, and also referring to the fact that I have been employed at the factory for all of my working life, 35 years.

Previously, I have created a zine called car park that can be read about here, and I thought that I would use the same printing company to manufacture 100 copies of this zine. Mixam do a great job of the printing and the tools on the website to upload the images and documents along with text made it easier than I’ve seen on other platforms.

It’s imortant to create a dummy or two to look at the layout and see what pictures work and don’t work together and opposite each other. Even the turn of a page can bring a great surprise if planned correctly as I learned from Euripides my course leader, after we’d looked at my Tokyo photo book together.

The dummy I made was out of folded pieces of paper and used paper clips to hold the prints I had made with an inkjet printer, then once I was happy I created a PDF in the Mixam portal and then printed this out to see if it worked. I takes a while to go through this process and with the car park zine it was a few weeks of reorganising to get as I wanted it.

This dummy had a couple more pages in it and in the end the actual zine consisted of 14 images across 16 pages. Two images were double pagers as I’d selected them to make a large impact.

Once I’d hit the button on the order I waited for the week before the delivery came, when it arrived the box was a bit tatty and a few of the corners of the zines might have been a bit bent but on the whole I was really pleased with the results.

Testing Time

My work colleagues were a test bed for opinions about the zine and some of the people I shared it with were amazed that the photos were made in the place that they work every day, yet were difficult to pinpoint in the facility. Some were impressed by the moodiness and atmosphere of the photos making the factory look spooky and a derelict place that was being used in a Bond movie. Some responses were relating the photographs to horror films and thrillers expecting a shootout to be taking place in the next few moments after the shutter was released.

Light was an important part of the images I selected for the zine and it was great hearing people talking about the lighting and the use of the unnatural electrical lights from outside the building. One person looked at the image of the multiple shadows on a corner and simply said to themself “light travels in straight lines” which was an inspired observation.

Looking at the zine now, there is only one image that doesn’t work as well as I’d hoped, and this is the red led through the perspex screen, looking like a sunny day across some rooftops. I feel it takes the viewer out of the location too far and is too close to the scene. I might replace this if I ever did a reprint of the booklet.

Another lesson I learned was that I could also have printed portrait images across two pages so that you’d turn the book 90 degrees to see it in the correct orientation. The Tokyo photo book also taught me this and that you can leave a page blank, or even split a photo across two pages with the majority on one and the rest of the image on a part of the opposite page.

Distribution at Exhibition

The zines were placed in a container to the side of my work under my artists statement, with a collection of booklets wrapped in a plastic sleeve, and a Demo Copy at the front, allowing people to have a quick look without opening up the plastic straight away. Over the course of the exhibition over thirty copies were given to or taken by visitors to the exhibition.

The copies I have distributed so far all have a number on the last page, out of the 100 issues that were printed. Some I have signed with a marker pen, and some I haven’t. The remainder of the zines will be added to my Etsy Shop and eBay store alongside my car park zine.

I also included some text in this zine about the theme of the photographs within as a way of explaining, if it needs explaining, the reason behind the photographs. If people did not read the artist’s statement on the wall that I wrote then they may read this one at a later time.,

Inside rear cover, with the text and edition number box.


Another mistake that I would correct if a reprint was in order would be to add a heavier paper or card cover. I neglected to tick the box for a stiffer cover and I’m a little disappointed that it is a bit floppy. The fact that I have given these away for free means that I lose less money having a floppy cover than if I’d used a stiffer material as they would then be more expensive to create.

Overall I think the zine was a good idea and allowed me to expand the work from the three relatively small acrylic prints to provide a more rounded view of the series. It was well received and was an addition to the main piece of work rather than a part of the work.

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