FMP - Ideas on Creating a Book

Introduction and summary of my thoughts on creating a book:  I have reviewed books and clinical papers that give me a sense of; creating a scientific document, creating a fine art document, explaining a long-term illness, making it personal and as universal as possible, then attempting to bring it all together. 

This is quite a complex thought process, but due to not having the time to produce a book that needs months, maybe years of preparation, I have decided to create a hand-made book of a single signature in size. This really has pushed me to either bring the work together into a really succinct version or do several versions. I am still in the process of discovery. 

As far as keeping it scientific, well thats fine, but it’s an art-science collaboration and thats why I want it to touch on both. Creating the book is an art form, creating a hand-made book might seem to much of an art form for scientific content. I have tried throughout this final major project to address both audiences, the art market and the scientific one. Exhibiting at a scientific conference, exhibiting at an Art Expo in Rome and later doing an artist talk. The idea of a book, and it is still an idea, helps me consolidate the work I have done this module, as will the artists talk. It helps me really think about the story-line and how to communicate the project. I am keen to finalise as much as iI can, the topic of the research behind M.E/CFS and my Mapping Project1. Post my MA I intend to create a soft or hard back book that is created more in a scientific way, layering my thought processes and ideas as if it were a scientific methodology. Maybe deconstructing the images so that they can be manually overlaid. The hand-made book will be a little taster of what is to come. I want it to be both an art form and a scientific recording. During my last tutorial it was suggested that this type of book is too ‘fine-art’, but since my abstraction work and placing metaphors is an artistic act, I feel it should be or could be represented as both or either.

Example Abstracts reviewed: I start with abstracts from clinical papers as I think through the methodology of my project, abstract, objective, methodology, results, summary etc., What can I do to introduce a scientific aspect into such a small book. For this I found papers that are in themselves summaries of the condition of M.E/CFS as well as a short video and work through these for further thoughts on how to present the work.

Books reviewed. Laia Abril’s book, The Epilogue proves to be an interesting layout for a more in depth book at a later stage. It attempts to answers questions that are complex, just like understanding the complex nature of M.E/CFS. This is a personal story that will remain with us long after we have read the book. I don’t think I can yet make this impact, but if it creates doubt and raised questions then it is a start towards something greater. 

Abrils, Book On Abortion, proves to be too complex in a way, or maybe for me to take in at this stage. 

David Fathi’s book Wolgang2, in many ways meets my thoughts on creating a book longer term, the insert with text stepping away from the images and allowing time for thought processes is how I want to guide the viewer through the book, that sense of mystery and then clarity. I need to think about where to position text, and images for this. I am still overwhelmed with Fathi’s ability to transfer whats complex to the personal and yet keep it scientific in nature. 

Bill Viola’s Bill Viola, I read for how he applies his not only knowledge, but spiritual philosophies to his work. I am always intrigued by sketches in books, note taking and reproduction of just how film making in this case comes together. A brilliant book, too in-depth for what I need right now. 

Khandola’s Illustration of Life, as with Yoshinaga and Nomura’s book bringing the personal aspect to the work, something I cam keen to do . Whether I do this again in a slightly scientific way, I am still deciding. P18-19 take me right to what I am thinking with his image of ‘blood transfusion’ overlaid with a pixelation representative of a medical scan enlarged. I have already attempted to do this with some of my images and maybe this is the way to go for a small book. 

Sakiko Nomura’s book, Anyo is just beautiful and I bought this at Paris Photo, for the personal aspect, the black and white and just the way in which the book has been hand cut along the right side adding a further dimension to the story. I bought it in the french language as a way of not disturbing it at all in its translation. Its wrapped in an open sided box, protecting both the book and its contents. The text is interesting in this book as it changes constantly from large to small and adds to the frustration of the story-telling. Another brilliant book. 

Liz Orton’s book, The medical Gaze; An Algorithmic View, is great, informative, with various essays from different artist authors. I find myself feeling critical of her work sometimes as I find it misses something. It’s factual, very informative, well connected in her collaborations, but maybe lacks that human perspective, the type of abstraction you need with unknown medical conditions, unknown chronically ill lives, unknown medical answers! It’s a short book and easy to read and I like that about it. It gives you what you need to know, but does it move you, not in my opinion. Maybe its not meant to. This is confusing because she starts with why she started this type of imagery as her eight month old baby undergoes a difficult  nuclear imaging scan, and she quotes “The medical image enables the absence of the patient’s body’!

Sarah Schonfeld’s book, All you can feel. I have written on here, where I describe in particular, pages 80-87 which are gold, written out sketch book style, a great mixture of layouts put together masterfully to address the science in an artistic way. It is written first in German and then in English, both languages side by side. Congratulations Kerber Publishers, its really produced well and a great reflection of the subject and work completed. Schönfeld covers a subject that we all know nothing and everything about. It’s both personal to her and Universal to us all. This is the key point for my FMP and something I need to keep a focus on when developing the book. 

Finally, Yoshinaga’s book, I’m Sorry I bought at Paris Photo in November last year. I anticipated little time to complete a book with the activities I had set for myself for the FMP coming up. Now, being more than half way through I appreciate the earlier thought process. His ability to deliver what is a really personal struggle is perfect. He actually sets up and stages his images but still manages to capture those moments of emotional turmoil. So I want to personalise my book in a way that it relates to others suffering of a long-term illness and keep the scientific content. Mostly I love this book for its simplicity, it is beautifully made, good quality paper, simple stitching and simple embossing, few words and a signed limited edition. I like the idea of the book being exclusive and hope that I have enough time to deliver a set number of copies. PS. I don’t think he charged enough for it! £15euros. If you want to flick through the pages you can see the book here. at Shashasha online photobook store. Yoshinaga’s book becomes the basis for my own. 

ABRIL L. 2018. On Abortion. Stockport : Dewi Lewis Publishing

ABRIL L. 2014. The Epilogue. Stockport : Dewi Lewis Publishing

ABRIL L. 2019. Laia Abril Website, Projects. [online] Available at [accessed 12th Jun.2019]

CATS F, CHARROY J. 2011. Chats Lunatiques. Aveyron :Graphi & Chabrillac 

FATHI D. Wolfgang2. London : Skinnerbox, also  [online] Available at 

LADD J. Wolfgang, Cern Archive. 1000 Words magazine. [Essay] [Accessed 25th Jun. 2019].

JASON L. Zinn A. Zinn A. 2015. Myalgic Encephalomyelitis : Symptoms and Biomarkers. Current Neuropharmacology Sep; 13(5): 701–734.[online] Available at [accessed 18th Jun. 2019.]

HANHARDT JG, VIOLA B. 2015. Bill Viola. London : Thames Hudson 

KAUFMAN D. 2018. Diagnosis and Management of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.  You Tube. [online]. Available at

KHANDOLA M, SEALY M. 2003. Illustration of Life. Stockport : Dewi Lewis, York  : Impressions Gallery, New York : Lightwork

NOMURA S. 2018. Ango. Tokyo : Match and Company., Ltd

ORTON L. 2018. Becoming Image; Medicine and the Algorithmic Gaze. London : Digital Insides

SCHONFELD S. 2013. All you can feel. Berlin : Kerber Verlag 

YOSHINAGA M. 2013. I’ Sorry. Tokyo : Match and Company., Ltd

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