“This book explores the little-known but fascinating world of photobook print on demand publishing. The book, created using artificial intelligence, has two sections to read in order or randomly. The first section assembles uses of the ‘photobook’ term, found using the keywords ‘photobook is’ [photobook: single word] on the web browser, which automatically suggests ‘Did you mean: photo book is’ [photo book: two words, bold italic]. These include colloquial, vernacular, technical, academic, theoretical and artistic statements of the meaning of the term. The second section contains diagrams and technical drawings of patent publications related to software applications for automatic photobook production and print-on-demand” (paula roush).
In this way, the field of tension becomes visible in which the publishing of print-on-demand photobooks operates: between the patented workflow, format, and material specifications of the platforms on the one hand, and the definitions, artistic imaginations, and ideas of the genre on the other.
In 2020, an online performance took place on Zoom to mark the launch of Photobook is Did you mean photo book is. Visible on the screen were two windows, one of which featured an animation of the book pages, synchronous with its reading out loud by Victoria (The Received Pronunciation automated voice in Acrobat Pro). The second window featured the publisher paula roush’s own msdm studio, showing a video stream of four actions related to visualizing, editing, publishing, and distributing the book.
Research initiated in 2015. First published as a limited edition of twenty-five handmade books in 2017. Published as a print-on-demand edition in 2020.