Cosmic Surgery is a photography project by Alma Haser in which the faces of the subjects she photographs are transformed into something unrecognisable. This book documents the results.
Cosmic Surgery started back in 2011 when Alma would construct origami shapes to attach to her own face, hiding or disguising her identity in a series of self-portraits. Friends and other willing participants eventually became the subjects, having intricate origami structures made from their faces. Each portrait is printed, sometimes numerous times, and folded into complicated origami shapes that are then placed over their original face. The combined assembly is then re-photographed creating unsettling results.
Last year a very limited run of 10 books were produced by hand. This Kickstarter is to help make the second edition happen.
In the process of producing the first limited edition pop-up book, science writer Piers Bizony and designer Emily Macaulay joined the Cosmic Surgery team to help introduce a narrative background, layout and unique construction. This second edition wants to expand on those ideas. It will be a photo book set in a fictional, not too distant future, at a point where “intelligent materials” are just about to transform the world of cosmetic surgery.
The book will have a hardcover printed and foil embossed. It will be 190x240mm (slightly smaller than A4) and contain 48 pages filled with the original portraits and a few new ones that haven’t been displayed before. There will also be a number of smaller booklets inside, containing the written content. And finally the book will include a pop-up portrait and a folded one which will be attached in the UK by our trusted team of pop-up makers, meaning this book has all the care and attention to detail that went in to first 10. We will be limiting this edition to 500 copies.
Alma Haser – The creator and Photographer of Cosmic Surgery.
Emily Macaulay (Stanley James Press) – The designer of the book. She has worked alongside Alma to get this project off the ground and has been involved ever since Alma asked her if she was interested in helping her create a unique photography pop-up book.
Piers Bizony – A famous science writer and the person who gave this photography series a story. Without his imagination and experience in science writing it would not have been the same.
And of course all the beautiful 'patients' that have allowed themselves to be photographed and have their faces folded into unrecognisable new ones.
HOW WILL THE FUNDS BE USED?
Making a book doesn't have to cost £20,000.
When the 1st edition was released our main goal was to release a pop-up photo book that didn’t cost the earth. All the advice we were given in those early days was to ship the designs off to China where a book could be made inexpensively and in massive runs. Pop-up books are still made by hand, each pop-up stuck in by someone's hands. We decided early on that we wouldn’t be able to guarantee good working conditions for all the people involved if we sent the work halfway round the world.
So all in all this is not a cheap book to make. The funding will cover the printing and binding of the book here in the EU, we haven’t chosen the cheapest printers, we’ve chosen someone we can trust. It also covers the cost of our trusted pop-up team back in the UK who will attach the pop-up sections before packaging them and sending them on their way to all you lovely backers.
And finally it also includes some money for the people involved in the design, the story and making these books happen along the way.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO MAKE A BOOK?
The book design is almost finished, we are just finalising the tiny details. The book will be ready to print as the Kickstarter ends. We are currently talking to two printers based in Europe and haven’t made up our mind which one to use yet, one is based in Belgium, the other in Germany.
If this Kickstarter campaign is successful then sometime in late April we should be making a trip to see the printers just as the first pages come off the press. The finished books will then be shipped to us sometime in mid June, where our pop-up team will fold and stick 500 pop-ups into 500 books, which is definitely not going to be easy! So if you have pledged you can expect to receive a beautiful, hand finished book by early to mid July.
Whilst we wait for the printers to do their thing we will also have time to work our way through the other rewards, running workshops, taking original origami portraits and posting postcards and prints to their lucky recipients.
Here are some other great people that helped us along the way…
Josh Emerson helped us build the Cosmic Surgery Simulator. Taking a crazy idea me and Emily had and made it happen.
Ali Graham helped us produce the Kickstarter video.
Simon James let us use his music in the Kickstarter video. We also have plans to collaborate with him again in the future of this project.
If you would like to talk about our project and Kickstarter campaign on your website the press kit below contains some bits you may need. If you find yourself needing more images or interviews then please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
There really aren’t that many risks involved. Emily has had books produced in Europe before so understands the challenges involved in that process. I have an exhibition opening at The Photographers' Gallery which starts on the 7th of July so I will be eager to have all the books ready by then. This means there is a fixed deadline for when things should be done by so I wouldn’t expect any severe delays. That being said if we miss our postage goal by a week or two please please don’t hate us for it.
We massively appreciate the support of you, the backers. We will be doing everything we can to make this book, or any of the other pledges an amazing experience for you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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