A generation of digital natives walk with their heads down, staring at illuminated devices, connected to a digital life and removed from the physical world around them. Or at least this is what we are led to believe, instead the physical, and generative has never been so important and treasure as it is today. The personal or shared ‘real-world’ experience is at the heart of two open classes run at Coventry University (#picbod and #phonar) and a global community project run by Matt Johnston – The Photobook Club. This presentation looks at how digital choices can not only enrich the online community but also facilitate the offline experience.
Matt Johnston is a photographer and educator based in London. His photographic practice has seen him work with Channel 4, Ocean Media group and various architectural magazines and companies. Alongside this commercial work Matt is a respected voice in the photobook community having set up the popular Photobook Club website and events which promote discussion around the physical photobook, there are now 6 branches of the Photobook Club from New York to Lisbon. In 2012, in partnership with Ken Schles, Matt published a highly commended digital edition of Schles seminal photobook ‘Invisible City’ which along with displays the original book as well as extended features and commentary from Schles and other practitioners. During his time at Coventry University Matt has been instrumental in creation and delivery of the open classes #picbod and #phonar, working to ensure the best possible learning experience for attending and remote students.