About this project
Three photographers. One common fascination. One book.
Most people have an opinion about UFO's and aliens. Through film and TV various myths and conspiracies have emerged and for years believers of extra-terrestrial life have been the subject of ridicule.
But times are changing. In 2015, Chairman of the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign John Podesta officially expressed his regrets of not disclosing official UFO-files and Chief Scientist at NASA, Ellen Stofan, created hype when she announced: “I think we’re going to have strong indications of life beyond earth within a decade, and I think we’re going to have definitive evidence within 20 to 30 years”.
Phenomena presents a thorough look at the UFO myth and its believers.
What makes the UFO phenomena? Is it just a commercially profitable story, a delusion with social consequences, a religious myth or even a physical phenomenon? In the book Tobias Selnaes Markussen, Sara Galbiati and Peter Helles Eriksen examine the human need for faith through extensive research and collected data on the modern myth of ET's and UFO's. The project strives to achieve an understanding of modern man's eternal search for purpose and enormous fear of meaninglessness.
Through an investigative journey in the states of Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona, the three photographers have been documenting an alternative religion, where neither God nor mankind is at the centre of the universe.
In the book the photographers present their empirically collected material and they encourage the reader to take a critical look at their research, because the complexity of the subject and constant flow of changing information means that pieces can be combined in infinite ways.
Through an anthropologic approach the group have aimed to collect as much documentation as possible and maintained a non-judgmental mind when interviewing their sources. The group believe this approach maximizes the chances of excavating something that could eventually lead to a new understanding. This method has had a crucial effect on the outcome of the material and statements. Some of them are contradicting; some might not even be true. This gives the book a feel of fiction, though the work itself is entirely based on reality.
Our Copenhagen based collective consists of Peter Helles Eriksen, Tobias Selnaes Markussen and Sara Brincher Galbiati. We have known each other for more than ten years, and four years ago we started the creative studio collaboration Kompleks in Copenhagen, Denmark. We normally work individually as photographers on projects and assignments. Phenomena is our first big project together.
Our collective believes that our own egos as photographer needed to be challenged and dissolved. In the Phenomena project we don’t work with distinctions between who took which image. It is all about the collaboration and the book should be judged on the nature of the content, not the names on the back.
We have experienced that working together as a collective has been very liberating. Because of this Phenomena has become a much stronger body of work, than any of us could have achieved separately.
In early 2013 André Frère starts his own publishing house. He has published authors such as Antoine d’Agata, Anders Petersen, Vanessa Winship, Patrick Tournebœuf, Christopher Anderson and Martin Parr.
André Frère always look after shapes, materials and graphic design in his productions. Each book sticks to the photographer’s work, in order to serve it and to show it at its best. He is also one of the founding partners of Images En Manœuvres Éditions.
Ironflag Studio has designed the book in close collaboration with the three photographers. Ironflag is a multi-disciplinary Copenhagen-based creative studio and design consultancy. They offer a broad spectrum of creative solution in the fields of art, music, fashion and design.
They believe in close relationships, highlighting long-term, personal relations to the clients. The design aesthetic is Scandinavian at its core, but with a highly International profile.
Text editor: Jeppe Kondrup Adelborg
Graphic design: Marco Malmberg Pedrollo and Mikkel Møller Andersen, Ironflag Studio.
Physical properties of the book:
Book block • Hardcover book • US Letter format (8,5x 11 inches or 21,59 cm x 27,94 cm) • 172 pages • 111 images • 12.000 words in total (16 essays + quotes and facts) • All text is in English.
• All photographs in the book block are shot on medium format cameras on 120 mm film. The pictures in the zines/inserts are shot digitally.
• Bear in mind, that the book shown on Kickstarter is still just a prototype. Changes is most likely to occur in the published version.
Risks and challenges
We are partly funded by this kickstarter, but also with funds from foundations.
A quick look at our budget:
Prepress proofing : 4.000 DKK
2000 copies : 220.000 DKK (variable cost)
Shipping : 1.900 DK
Ironflag is putting finishing touches on editing, layout/designs and the digital design files will then be ready to be handed over to publisher André Frère. If the campaign is successful, the book will be printed immediately.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. We will be open and transparent in our communication with anyone that makes contact.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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