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27. We Are, We Are
I am happy to announce that VoidTokyo Vol.8 will be published this summer, and that, for a limited time, we are taking pre-orders.
VoidTokyo, of course, is the name of the photography collective I am a member of, but also the name of the magazine we publish. Each issue is more than 100 pages long and packed with our members’ most recent photography. All of our magazines are printed locally by offset press on high quality paper, to make for a beautiful publication that showcases our photographs.
The cover of the magazine says “Street Photography” but I think it is fair to say that we are pushing at the boundaries of what is generally considered street photography. I am grateful for the support the collective as I wrestle with new approaches and ideas.
In this issue, I am publishing for the first time a selection of photos from my series, “We Are, We Are.” The series consists of pairs of candid photos taken on the street at the same moment, but from different angles. To make these photos, I set up cameras on tripods and triggered them simultaneously with a wireless remote. (I wrote more about the process, and shared other photos from the series, in my November 2022 newsletter.)
I hope that seeing this work reminds the viewer that there is not a single, decisive view of any scene. A person taking a photo is always making a choice of where to stand, what to capture, what to leave out. Those choices, in turn, affect how the viewer interprets the situation. These ideas seem obvious, yet I think there is a shock to being visually confronted with them in this manner.
Also, to me at least, the photographs feel uneasy. We expect a camera to have a person behind it, and a person can only be in one place. Even if two people are photographing the same scene, it is almost impossible that they would take a photo at precisely the same moment. But isn’t that a limited way of thinking about photography? We are in fact surrounded by unmanned cameras that are constantly taking simultaneous photos of us from multiple angles. Perhaps this series may trigger some thoughts about the surveillance societies in which many of us live.
Thank you to everyone who has already given me encouragement and feedback on this body of work. I hope you like seeing this selection from “We Are, We Are” in print.
Of course, VoidTokyo Vol.8 will have loads of great photos from the collective’s other members, too. In particular, I think Tatsuo Suzuki has put together a real stunner of a photo series, this one driven by urban textures. Kenji Okamoto has turned to black and white for a new set in his meditative, surreal style. And if your interest is color photography, we have a lot of great work across various styles from my other colleagues.
Those who have purchased previous volumes will note that we have updated the format of this one slightly, moving from A4 size to B5 (in inches, that’s about 7-1/2” by 10”). This is a change I felt strongly about and pushed for—while it is still a large size that shows our photographs well, it now fits much more comfortably in the hand or in a bag. This is just one example of the many discussions we have had about how to make the best possible publication.
The price for VoidTokyo Vol.8, including tax, is 2970 yen (about $21 USD) plus shipping. It will be available for pre-order only until June 18.
If you are interested, we would appreciate your pre-order. We print 500 copies of each zine, which always sell out. We handle all of the distribution ourselves, and it takes a lot of work. Having some extra time to process the first wave of orders helps us a great deal—and it guarantees you’ll get your copy as quickly as possible.
The order form is here. I’m positive you’ll enjoy your copy.
I’ll be back next month, with new work. Thank you for reading.