About this project
Since 2007, photographer Richard Renaldi has worked on a series of photographs for which he asks complete strangers to physically interact while posing together for a portrait. Working on the street with a large format 8-by-10 view camera, Renaldi encounters his subjects in towns and cities all over the United States.
Renaldi’s objective was to introduce an unpredictable variable into a traditional photographic formula, and to create spontaneous and fleeting relationships between complete strangers. The portraits are extremely difficult to make, involving complex negotiations with the participants that push them past comfort levels, into a physical intimacy normally reserved for loved ones or friends. Touching Strangers creates intimate and ephemeral relationships that exist only for the moment of the photograph. The images are beautiful and strange, crossing out of the zones of safe physical intimacy with strangers and into deep emotional landscapes never photographed before.
Touching Strangers Photobook
In Spring 2014, subject the success of this Kickstarter campaign, Aperture Foundation, the photography publisher based in New York, will publish Touching Strangers as a photobook, including new photographs from Renaldi’s shoots this summer in Albuquerque, Chicago, New York City, and Southern California.
As a non-profit foundation, Aperture relies on contributions from supporting individuals, companies, and foundations, and on sales of photographers’ limited-edition prints, to help make and publish photobooks—works of art in their own right that inspire the reader and promote awareness of the photographer.
Chris Boot, executive director of Aperture, says “We think these great photographs have something positive to say about human connection . . . about a diverse society in which people have been taught not to touch each other but in which we can and do transcend the boundaries set around us. In seeking support to make the book possible, we want to ask you—strangers—to help us. This makes this Kickstarter campaign—Aperture’s first—part of the work itself, a way for strangers to connect with each other. We hope this project touches you, and that you’ll want to participate with us in bringing this book to the world.”
Thank you for your help making this book possible.
Text: Essay by Richard Renaldi
Design: Namkwan Cho (the London-based designer of The Sound of Two Songs, by Mark Power, and Infidel, by Tim Hetherington). Photographs: approx. 70 in color
Size: approx. 10 x 8 inches
Retail price: approx. $50
Publication date: May 2014
The book will feature the names of all the “strangers” who help make the book possible by supporting this Kickstarter campaign.
· Printed in an edition equal to the number of contributions received at the $100 level and higher
· Available only to people who support this project through Kickstarter
· Clothbound, with special design and production features unique to this edition
Along with the other benefits listed, supporters at the following levels will also receive a limited-edition photograph by Richard Renaldi from the Touching Strangers series:
Nathan and Robyn, 2012, Provincetown, MA
8 x 10"
Signed and numbered in an edition of 100
Available only to people who support this project through Kickstarter
Jeromy and Matthew, 2011, Columbus, OH
16 x 20"
Signed and numbered in an edition of 15
Richard Renaldi was born in Chicago in 1968. He received his BFA in photography from New York University in 1990. Exhibitions of his photographs have been mounted in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. In 2006 Renaldi's first monograph, Figure and Ground, was published by Aperture. His second monograph, Fall River Boys, was released in 2009. Richard Renaldi is the founder and publisher of Charles Lane Press.
Also, check out Richard Renaldi's Strangers in New York: Photographing People Workshop coming up at Aperture.
Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other—in print, in person, and online.
Spread the Word!
After pledging your support, please help to spread the word about this project by sharing this link with your contacts.
Thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges when publishing a photobook include the possibility of delay, but Aperture Foundation is highly experienced at dealing with the production and printing challenges involved in making great photobooks. If this campaign is successful, we would do everything possible to make sure the book is published in May.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
While the $50 version will be available for purchase after the run of the campaign as a trade edition, the special edition will only be available to those who contribute to the Kickstarter campaign, and will be printed in a limited edition equal to the number of contributions received at the $100 level and above. This version will be clothbound, with special design and production features that distinguish it from the trade version. Specifics are still to-be-determined, but please check back. We will be revealing further design details, as they come, over the next few weeks.
Now that I've backed the "Touching Strangers" project at the $10 level or above, how do I tell you how I'd like to be acknowledged in the book?
When the funding period is over (Aug. 5) we'll be sending a backer survey which will allow you to provide us with shipping information and other details regarding your reward. As part of this survey, we will ask you to list your name as you would like to see it appear in the book.
$59 is the USPS flat rate box price for international shipping. In almost all cases, this is actually less expensive than pricing by weight, even when shipping just one book.
If you choose not to pledge, the book will be available in international bookstores in spring 2014.
Support this project
- (45 days)