Mar 31, 2012 12:00AM

Independent Photography Festival 2012

Starting on Monday in Melbourne, we catch up with one of the guy's behind the festival, Joe Miranda.

The Independent Photography Festival makes it debut this year, running from April 2 - 8 in Melbourne. Devised by the guys behind the Hard Workers Club, the week-long festival will include exhibition openings which celebrate the work of local photographers, a two-day photo book and zine fair which we are particularly excited about, featuring rare and limited independent print publications from Australian and the rest of the world, as well as an international photo competition which will show and sell the work of over 100 hundred photographers. We caught up with the IPF's Chief Co-ordinator, Joe Miranda.

Sophie Bosch: How did the Independent Photography Festival come about?
Joe Miranda: We set out to create something that promoted and encouraged a more tactile, personal, interactive platform for the photographers we've been working with on Hard Workers Club and Tourisms, and those we knew we wanted to work with but on something physical. Inspired by Melbourne's extensive festival season, and specifically State Of Design, we looked to reclaim photography for everyone willing to put that little bit more than just mastering the scrollbar.

How does it work? What can we expect?
This is the inaugural IPF, so we don't really know how it works yet, but in terms of what to expect, we've hooked up some of the best photographers and creatives Australia has! We're working with The Thousands Melbourne and Parts & Crafts to coordinate our program of two solo show openings (Luke Byrne's 'Stills From Imaginary Films' and Jackson Eaton's 'The Family Unit'), a group show opening (Deadset), Natalie Nikitovic's 'As Is' book launch, the first Photo Book & Zine Fair with Black Coffee in residence on both days, the AUS/NZ premier screening of Format Perspective, and the IPF 2012 Photo Prize, which is an internationally open prints submission exhibition/competition/sale, with the People's Choice Award (Grand Prize a YASHICA T4!) being announced at the closing party, and the other two Judge's Panel prizes announced at the Opening and Festival Launch.

It's pretty full on.

Format Perspective - trailer from Philip Evans on Vimeo.

Why do you think it's so important to see photos hanging on a wall in a gallery space rather than just on your computer screen?
I think anyone who's seen their own work printed will know how the tactility and stimulation of the senses a printed image gives you can never ever not with 3D goggles, smell-o-vision, or interactive Minority Report style gloves be replicated digitally. Plus, huddling around a computer screen is a little depressing, but squeezing in for a look at a print, or photo book, or zine is exciting as.

Do you think blogging / Tumblr is overtaking zine-making?
I think that these two are as equally mutually exclusive to one another as they are related. It's a little like the books versus e-books debate - one is about immediacy, one is about experience, absorption. Zines are able to do what Tumblrs do, and the effect can be easily replicated, but the other way round is a lot harder, and I can't imagine anyone wanting to do either.

When did you start taking photos?
I picked up an AE-1 when I was 16. Then put it down. Then I 'studied' graphic design and hated every minute. I began shooting in earnest when I was 18 shooting local bands and that, but don't shoot nearly as much as I would like/ought to thesedays. I prefer working with photographers to make the things we do than risk being compared to just any photographer when I certainly don't consider myself to deserve the title - anymore, anyway.

What's the strangest thing you've ever taken a photo of?
Self-portrait.

How many zines do you own?
I couldn't say for sure, but something in the region of 80? We just got through a nice haul of local and international photo zines for the IPF Photo Book & Zine Fair we're having at Worker's Club with Parts & Crafts and Black Coffee, so I'll be parting with some monies and improving on that number.

What are you most excited about that is included in the IPF 2012?
All the lords we're getting to work with to make it happen.

Introduction: Ingrid Kesa

Interview: Sophie Bosch

www.independentphotographyfestival.com

www.hardworkersclub.com