paper cameras press utilizes the following language to articulate shapes of collaboration that support vigorous imagination and responsible communication.
responseTo engage response is to make work and build a practice that begins in correspondence or dialogue with somebody else’s or some other entity’s practice. Response might happen towards a collaborator on the publication or towards a companion external to the project.1
gatherTemporarily assemble as a group in a synchronous moment with sustained attention.
Sometimes, we gather to carefully decide on something or assemble our materials together through folds and piles. And sometimes, we gather spontaneously because a friend pointed to a photo they found, and quickly waved for us to come, and look, and touch with them. Regardless, it’s a moment where we share in time.3
rehearseA process the press uses to collaboratively engage, imagine, act out, or be with the materials that have been co-created at varying stages, most of which occurring before a publication makes itself public.4 For example, while making the first issue, which was carried primarily through virtual meetings in 2021 and 2022, the co-authors and I would each print the draft in its current iteration and perform the forming curriculum together, across our screens.
hesitateA pause before, or instead of, production, hesitation is a tremble that disrupts the unflinching momentum of individual photographers championed by the medium’s institutionalization. It may be a fumble, an interruption for thought, or gesture of refusal that blocks an undesired lens from taking; regardless, it is motivated by the gravity of consideration.5
While meeting, ahead of circulating, and before taking a picture, paper cameras press requests that we consider:
- our own relationship to the image at hand;
- our own social constitutions and the possible privileges or power they may yield;
- the consequences of sharing or re-circulating the image;
- communicating with communities who have stakes in the image when the image is not of or from our own community;
- inquiring within ourselves where we may be intruding when a conversation is not possible.
1. Language and care towards the modality of response arrives from Matthew Goulish, Lin Hixson, and Mark Jeffery and their course “Abandoned Practices” at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Matthew shares that a beginning takes place when “somebody else’s words stop us...what we allow to stop us is what we respond to. Our response to what stops us is our responsibility” (Goulish, Day 2 Lecture, Abandoned Practices, 2020).
2. Language and practices for embodying “carrying” are inspired by the center for liberatory practice and poetry, and their collectively sourced living and breathing set of agreements “weaving our values & practices,” arranged by an inagural team of weavers and center steward, Kimi Hanauer.
3. This framework is indebted to publishing initiative, press press and their centering of “publishing as the act of gathering a public…” on “About,” https://presspress.info/about.
4. Notions and language around “rehearsal,” arrives from a residency Katie co-founded with friends Mira Dayal, beck haberstroh, and Josephine Heston, https://rehearsal.cargo.site/.
5. Hesitation is not necessarily slow, though it does excel in slowing down; Hesitation is also what happens when we are in a context where we can hold, and let ourselves be held, by each other. We pause action, tremble as we ask each other for more sensitivity, and learn new registers for embrace.
︎︎︎ back to terms