Book review by Douglas Stockdale –
Ara Oshagan and his self-published photobook Mirror uses a documentary style to create a predominately black and white diary of the Gor Mkhitarian band but with an unusual twist; he incorporates technology that allows the viewer to scan the appropriate interior pages and link up the related music on their phone. Oshagan has incorporated the free Aurasma.app (available from Apple or Google) that after downloading and subsequently pointing the phone’s camera to the red icon pages of his book, the reader will be able to experience Mkhitarian’s band play the related music.
Oshagan states “Images mirror music. Music is a mirror of images. Darkness and light reflected in both. The diary’s very structure is a mirror; the lexicon of the pages that follow one another has a visual rhythm, an echo of the ebb and flow of music itself.”
Oshagan was present at Photo Book Independent last spring when I had an opportunity to meet him and discuss his photographs as well as the technology lurking in this book. I usually do not provide reviews of musical band documentaries, but this was really an intriguing collaboration of a nice physical photobook with the download of the related music, which I find more interesting that an iPad experience. I am guessing that once the reader downloads this app, that they should even be able to scan the photographs in this review and interact with the music. Cool.
Douglas Stockdale is the Senior editor & founder of PhotoBook Journal
Photographer: Ara Oshagan (born Beirut, Lebanon, resides Glendale, CA, USA)
Self-Published (CA), Copyright 2015
Essay by Ara Oshagan
Music & Lyrics by Gor Mkhitarian
Text: English & Armenian
Hardcover exposed boards with tipped in image, sewn binding, four-color lithography, printed in China
Photobook designer: Ara Oshagan & Varoujan Hovakimyan
Visited Ara at the opening of his show in February 2016 for this book: Mirror. Beautifully photographed and the technology is outstanding.