ART BY TECHNIQUE: photobooth Feed

photobooth as film strip


I almost never reprint posts from other websites but this one was too cool not to. And isn't it Harry Potter-esque the way the pictures move here in a sea of text?

This concoction is from a very cool website on vernacular photography:  SQUARE AMERICA  
Do hop over and check it out.

You know we have a huge passion for photobooth pictures here. A couple of years ago we had American Photobooth, a show by  Näkki Goranin.  Näkki's book sets the standard for the history of Photobooths, with hundreds of fascinating images and thoroughly researched text. So check that out too. 

One more from Square America:



Paul Larson produces Art Express on Mountain Lake PBS in Plattsburgh, NY. He has been incredibly supportive to me and to PSAW in the past few years. He did a piece on my FAKE! Series in 2004, then last summer he came to the gallery to do a piece on the Paint By Number show, which I think will be aired soon. This week he and camera man Jared Stanley braved the snow and ice to travel across the lake  to tape a show on Nakki Goranin's American Photobooth.
I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working with Paul and Jared when they interviewed me. Paul is a good director, and  I absolutely loved it when he'd say, "wait, there was a truck in the background noise, we have to re-shoot that sentence." or "please make that statement a bit clearer" or "turn this way". He took the same care with the PBN story and the American Photobooth. I'll let you know when they air. Meanwhile, if you want to see the FAKE! story you can go to my website and click on "media"


Burlington's alt weekly, 7Days Vt published a fabulous article about Nakki Goranin's American Photobooth in this weeks issue. It's beautifully written by publisher/editor Pamela Polston with tons of images from the book, and some photos of Nakki by Matthew Thorsen.

Nakki Goranin in one of her vintage photobooths. Photo by Matthew Thorsen for 7DaysVT

The article is too long to reprint here but link on over to 7DaysVT

There's a bonus that you can only get online. Cathy Resmer and  Andrew Sawtell,  from 7Dvt, came over to psaw last week to tape an audio interview with Nakki. It is online, with a photo slide show and you must listen/watch.

And remember, you can buy American Photobooth through my link to Powells Bookstore at the top of the sidebar of this blog. Merci.


Some of you don't read Vending Times. OK, most of you don't. Probably most of you don't regularly read any trade magazines, which is a shame. I became addicted to them when I worked in an ad agency that serviced clients who advertised in Car Wash Times, and Progressive Grocer.


Vending Times,  the newsmonthly  of vending, foodservice, coffee service and coin-Operated Recreational Services pubilshed a thoughtful and insightful review of American Photobooth this month. It was written by the editor Tim Sanford. Here are some excerpts:

"Very fortunate inventions attract the attention of historians like Näkki Goranin, a Vermont photographer and collector of historical photographs. American Photo Booth is the product of a decade’s research which, by the author’s account, she originally had no intention of undertaking. She became interested in the photos dispensed by these booths, plentiful but usually anonymous, and wondered how they were made...

Goränin understands, as many historians of technology do not, that the great inventors were also manufacturing and marketing geniuses who envisioned not only their creations, but the context in which they could be profitable...

The present grows continually out of the past, and anyone interested in the growth of the coin-operated industries will find this book not only uniquely informative, but lively and sympathetic. Entrepreneurs are known for looking ahead, not back – Henry Ford famously said, “history is bunk” – but they deserve their histories, and American Photo Booth is one of the best."


We had a great opening here at Pine Street Art Works yesterday. Nakki Goranin's American Photobooth made it's official exhibition debut as thousands thronged to get in. Just joking - that only happens at Art Hop. But, despite snowy roads and a host of other Burlington happenings, we enjoyed a full house of friends and art mavens.

Nakki Goranin (right) discusses her work with my friends Alison Bechdel and Holly Rae Taylor while other friends and visitors look at the images.

We sold over forty books in two hours, and that hasn't happened here since Alison Bechdel's launch party for Fun Home. Several people showed up because they had heard the interview with Nakki the night before on Vermont Public Radio.  I couldn't have asked for better publicity.


American Photobooth has made it to People Magazine. That means a shelf life of months if you think about reading it in doctor's waiting rooms or friends' magazine piles. Yea!! for Nakki Goranin and American Photobooth.
American Photobooth in People Magazine, Feb. 18th issue

I wager that this is just the beginning of a flurry of great publicity for this fantastic book.

And remember, if you are in the area, the exhibition based on this book is showing at Pine Street Art Works, 404 Pine Street in Burlington VT. Artist's reception and book signing Saturday, February 9th, from 2-5.


Despite an ice storm that pretty much closed down Burlington yesterday, Nakki Goranin and I managed to get the Photobooth Exhibit ready for it's debut. Unfortunately the ice storm prevented us from being open for First Friday, but the good news is that the show is up and ready for visitors this week, and then the big opening is next Saturday afternoon.

photobooth, photobooth exhibit, olive green walls

Pine Street Art Works, Nakki Goranin American Photobooth Exhibit

Meanwhile, I had to show you some pictures of the great show window and some interiors. Nakki has this amazing lilluminated sign from an old photobooth that we hung in the window. It reads, "Photos Lumiere Electronique Photos Son Claires et Precises"


Hand made 20th Century photobooth sign. Photobooth ephemera and American Photobooth Poster

Pine Street Art Works, American Photobooth, show window from inside
The mannaquins are holding enlarged photobooth strips.


There's still some tweaking to do, but the exhibit looks grand and is ready for visitors, so come on over if you're in the neighborhood.

American Photobooth Exhibit

american photobooth, nakki goranin, man smoking, black glasses
anonymous photobooth photo. Copyright Nakki Goranin from American Photobooth, WW Norton 2008

Who amongst us hasn’t enjoyed a trip to a photobooth and then tucked those strips of paper into photo albums or given them away to friends? What happens when those pictures, made so casually, leave their original owners and begin to circulate publicly though flea markets, antique dealers and auctions?

One answer: they become Art and History.

Burlington, Vermont artist, writer and photo historian Nakki Goranin has collected several hundred of these images into a new book,  American Photobooth, to be published in February by W.W. Norton & Co. Leading the now hot trend in collecting vernacular photography, Goranin   spent twenty five years gathering thousands of photobooth images made since their invention in the 1920’s.
american photobooth, nakkin goranin, african american sailor, african american couple in photobooth,

anonymous photo booth photo. Copyright 2008 Nakki Goranin from  the book American Photobooth

A selection of these pictures. along with images of original booths and their settings, make up the body of the new book, along with the social and technological history of this photographic phenomenon. Several of Goranin’s own photobooth-based works are also included.

Goranin’s collection will make it’s exhibition debut at Burlington VT's Pine Street Art Works in  February and March. Dozens of images from the book, enlarged for exquisite viewing, will be included in the exhibit.
American photobooth, nakki goranin, Blackfoot
Anonymous photobooth photo. Copyright 2008 Nakki Goranin from the book
American Photobooth

American Photobooth
, which has already been cited in The New York Times and The New Yorker, is sure to be one of the most talked about photo books of 2008. After it’s debut at Pine Street Art Works, the pictures will travel to New York City for exhibition at a major New York City photography museum.

Signed copies of the book will be available at Pine Street Art Works, and the artist/author will be on hand at the opening, Saturday, February 9th, from 2-5.



American Photobooth, Nakki Goranin, photo old lady, dog, wire terrier, Anonymous Photobooth photo from American Photobooth by Nakki Goranin

Nakki Goranin's American Photobooth -The Exhibit will be making its world debut next month at Pine Street Art Works to coincide with the publication of  Nakki's book, American Photobooth. Forthcoming from W.W. Norton & Co., the book has already been cited in The New Yorker and The New York Times.

Nakki is a Burlingtonian, an artist, writer, teacher, folklorist, anthropologist and major collector of photobooth images. American Photobooth is a sure bet for one of the top photo books of '08.

There's more to come on this subject but I couldn't resist bringing you this photo which will become the show postcard.