PHotoEspaña 2012: Best Photography Book of the Year
“The buzz word is swarm intelligence, which has acquired an unforeseen reality in the era of Facebook and Twitter. The behavior of a collective without a center has become a social phenomenon, which is not only of interest to natural scientists, but also particularly to politicians and economists.” (Peter Pfrunder in his contribution to the book)
Swarm is a breathtaking photographic series exploring the flock movements of migrating birds. The photographs offer a unique view of the beauty but also the complexity and diversity of shape variations. A swarm sitting on the ground mirrors the surface of the earth like a skin, but as soon as it lifts up it becomes a fluid three-dimensional system in constant flux. This aerial ballet reveals a rhythm of upward explosion and downward, cascading movement. At times the forms seem to explode, blooming like flowers or expanding outward like fireworks. At other times they appear more stable, slowly drifting like a negative image of stellar constellations. Swarm looks up into the sky and follows flight through the dynamic landscape of streams of air.
With contributions by Peter Pfrunder, Gordon H. Orians, Deborah M. Gordon, and Wallace Stevens
Design: Integral Lars Müller
21 x 27 cm, 8 ¼ ×10 ½ in, 240 pages, 115 illustrations, hardcover (2011)
ISBN 978-3-03778-241-5, English€50.00 / $70.00 / £45.00
The Farallon Islands in the Pacific Ocean are often called “California’s Galapagos” and are home to one of the world’s largest colonies of nesting seabirds. It’s hard to imagine a better setting for Lukas Felzmann’s latest book. But the photographer is not interested here (only) in migratory birds, as in his previous book, Swarm (2011). He also looks at what the birds bring here from afar: swallowed objects the gulls carry in their stomachs from the coast to the island, only to then finally gather these treasures together in their nests on the Farallon Islands. Images of these magical objects, the “gull juju,” are joined by finely observed photographs of the research work carried out by scientists on the islands. Felzmann discovered during his stay that scientific work is imbued with its own kind of magic: in addition to uncovering similarities and differences between photographic and scientific documentation, he happened upon the scientists’ dream diaries. The book thus presents an archive of both visual and linguistic findings, in the process grappling with questions of transience, sustainability, and the co-existence of human and animal.
16,7 x 25,4 cm, 6 ½ x 10 in, 168 pages, 137 illustrations, hardback (2015)
ISBN 978-3-03778-449-5, e€39.00 / $39.00 / £29.00
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