The Distant Zines (at time of writing they’re up to Vol. 5 and 6) arose from an instagram hashtag #socialdistancinglandscape, and each zine features images from two or three photographers. They’re all designed by Matthew David Crowther, and I think they all came through Nathan Pearce.

If Volume 1 is a sort of conversation between Emmerson German and Tim Carpenter, Volume 2 is a party line between Pearce, Rachael Banks, and Crowther.

Both zines contain limited text: there’s the title (on the front cover) and last page, and Volume 2 adds the photographer’s names to divide the photographs into sections. I don’t mind, of course.

Photographs in Volume 1 are all monochrome, and mostly feature dense woods, often with flowers blooming from vines or trees, and with the occasional midwestern field and a weed-filled pond. I like that the photographs are shuffled together and it’s not immediately obvious who made which picture, and so it really works like conversation between friends, each working separately due to the pandemic, but coming together as normal.

In Volume 2, Pearce presents his usual subjects—water tanks, a midwestern neighborhood and house, and what looks like a 2000s era public park. Rachel Banks’ photographs mix color and black & white photographs to show a young woman with her dogs and young man. Crowther takes a walk through some woods.

Overall, I sorta prefer Volume 1, but they’re both good. The (I think) short-lived fad of pandemic zines seems to have run its course now, 16 months into it. It seems like many photographers used the time to make some sort of project, and zines started coming out almost immediately. I didn’t start anything new or make any decisions or anything, and so didn’t really do anything… Oh well. I want to say something about this, but I don’t really know what to say, so…

Volume 1 and 2 (and 3 and 4, and 5 and 6) are sold out, but I think the hashtag is still running on Insta, so maybe check it out.

*I bought 1 and 2 from Pearce, and at time of writing he lists vol. 5 and 6 on his regularly-updated sale page.

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