Jörg Colberg - Text and Image, Image and Text

Two months long masterclass with Jörg Colberg
7 December 2021 - February 2022 * (once a week on Tuesdays) 

* dates might change - the workshop will start once the group is complete


Throughout the history of photography, images and text have been made to work together to communicate something that is beyond their individual abilities. Examples range from captions that supplement photographs with unphotographable information all the way to the complex novels by W.G. Sebald that include a variety of often cryptic images. There is much to be gained from working with images and text. However, since images and text operate in very different ways, photographers often struggle to establish meaningful relationships between them beyond the very simple use of captions or stand-alone image and text blocks. 

The goal of this workshop is to provide its participants with a deeper understanding of what can be done with images and text in relation to a concrete photographic project. The workshop will serve as a laboratory for experimenting with text and image relationships and developing their own image-text piece through the succession of guided individual and group discussions. The participants’ writing exercises will focus on texts related to their own projects.

Goals/Learning Objectives 
In this masterclass, participants will develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between images and text by becoming familiar with a number of important case studies and exercising writing texts in relation to their own project. By the end of the course, each of the participants will have conceptualised and further developed their own image-text project.  

Requirements 
Participants need to have a fully (or almost fully) developed photography project that can serve as the basis of an image-text exercise. The project’s original idea does not need to contain the inclusion of text, even though image-text projects are certainly welcome. The work should be complete enough so that participants can focus their time on developing text and pairing it with images in whatever way possible. In other words, the work during the course will concentrate on finding the best form for the text, rather than taking new pictures. Given the laboratory nature of the workshop, it is not intended for those who already have found the final form of the text and need editorial refinements.
Previous experience with image-text pieces is not necessary. 
Both classes and individual writing exercises will take place in English.

Notes on content and respect
The masterclass might contain content that can be considered provocative by some of the participants. Some art we may encounter might remind someone of difficult experiences and produce an emotional reaction before thinking mind has a chance to catch up. The workshop is intended to provide a safe environment that respects the feelings and opinions of all the participants and allows every one to be able to speak up, take a break, or ask for extra time to discuss any problematic issue. When engaging with other colleagues, everyone is encourage to provide candid, constructive and professional response. The participants are also invited to communicate with the tutor directly.

Form and schedule
The masterclass will take place online (via Zoom).
The meetings will take place on Tuesdays, 11 AM Eastern Standard time (US) / 5 PM Central European Time / 6 PM Latvian time.
The participants will continue work on their projects between the sessions. 
Week 1:           Introduction/Presentation, Assignment  (2 hours)
Week 2:           Individual meetings with participants  (30 minutes)
Week 3:           Group Meeting: Presentations by participants (assignment) (3 hours)
Week 4:           Individual meetings with participants  (30 minutes)
Week 5:           Group Meeting: “mid-term report”  (3 hours)
Week 6:           Individual meetings with participants  (30 minutes)
Week 7:            Individual work with own projects
Week 8:           Group Meeting: Final Presentations  (3 hours)
Group sessions are recorded and made available to the participants. 

The course will have maximum 8 participants.

About the tutor
Jörg Colberg is a writer, photographer, and educator based in Northampton, MA (USA). Originally from Germany. He is the founder and editor of Conscientious, a blog dedicated to contemporary fine-art photography that has been quoted as one of most influential critiques of contemporary photography. He has a PhD in astrophysics and first worked as a research scientist in astronomy. Colberg is the author of "Understanding Photobooks: The Form and Content of the Photographic Book" (2016), a guide to making photo-books. He has contributed essays to numerous photography publications, including Foam Magazine, British Journal of Photography, and Creative Review, written introductory essays for photography monographs and guest-edited photography exhibitions and photobooks. 
 

Course fee - 500 EUR (reduced fee 350 EUR for Latvian participants).

To apply 
Submit the APPLICATION FORM here.
The course will start as soon as the group of 8 participants is complete (expected start 7 December 2021). 
Advance payment will be required to confirm participation in the class.  


Participants' feedback (editions February-March and July-August 2021) 
- The masterclass gave me the motivation to finally work on my project and to write text rather than shoot even more images. Really great tutor. Precise and clear communication. -

- The class got me motivated to work and I enjoyed writing. -
- I've got a better understanding what works and what doesn't work in my book. For me, it was very good to have a meeting every week over a longer period, so I could develop my project step by step during the masterclass. -

- The classes have opened me to try something I've never done before and it worked amazingly well for me. I have found a new direction for my project and I feel encouraged to work more on it. Jörg was supportive and honest. It means a lot! -

- Very well structured class and practical approach and feedback, which I think is really needed, especially in an online environment. - 

- The course provides a thorough structure for one's book project. The emphasis goes for the text as a main focus point, seeking and testing different strategies that might be suitable. Jorg was very precise on the feedback, but at the same time very supportive and encouraging. By the end of the course I felt confident about the final result and how to bring the elements of text and images together. - 

- For me it was the first time I worked on the relationship between text and image. The course was very useful and gave me a lot of ideas for developing my first photobook. The duration of the course and the method with which it was set up were perfect for me. Jorg is very knowledgeable and intuitive. The individual meetings were very interesting, and also a possibility for comparison with the other participants was a great input, as our works were very different from each other. Overall, the course was very helpful in putting my ideas in order and improving my work.
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With any questions about the masterclass or application, please contact us at issp@issp.lv