FORMAT23 Photobook Market | Call for Artists

Calling all Artists, publishers and photobook makers – The FORMAT Photobook Market is returning! 

We are delighted to announce Francesca Seravalle as the curator for the FORMAT23 Photobook Market and Photobook Exhibition which will take place in Derby during the festival’s opening weekend. 

The three-day event which will take place between Friday 16 and Sunday 19 March will bring together publishers, bookshops, artists and photographers from across the globe. 

In this coming edition, we want to expand the Photobook Market experience into something much more. Alongside the FORMAT Photobook Market, which will include a space for selling/buying, presenting and signing books, we present the FORMAT Photobook Exhibition. A space for photobook performance, groups to create new work and engage audiences in workshops and activities, artist talks about photobooks and finally a place for meeting and sharing.  



The FORMAT23 Photobook Exhibition is dedicated to performance and the photobook. Creating a space for exploring the book’s format and makeup. 

Over the past few years, we have taken part and assisted in the unceasing development of the photobook. We are bombarded by digital images daily, but the photobook provides a more intimate and total experience. It is without doubt that Photobooks have a theatrical aspect: they capture our interest and they play with our imagination and ability to read between the pictures. Currently, we are experimenting a lot with photobooks as a medium and an object: with a variety of photography, editing, storytelling, text and image ratios, formats, papers, bindings and covers. What do we still need to perform with the photobook? What has gone unseen and what are we yet to discover? We obsess over, sometimes even fetishise, these objects. Like bodies, photobooks themselves are in state of becoming through ‘performing’. Our desire is to explore photobooks through our senses and gestures but publicly and in the same intimate way that we do privately. In effect, saying in public what we say privately. We want to re-establish a new relationship with the photobook by opening up our perceptions and imaginations. 



Video, sound, and #asmr works 

We are excited to announce a call for photographers, artists, designers, curators, performers, musicians, publishers, printers, writers, archivists, book seller, collectors and collectives for the first sensorial and Performing Photobook Exhibition.  

We are looking for: photobooks, augmented photobooks, NFT photobooks, ASMR video/audio, photographs, performance about photobooks, performative photobooks and the making of them. Performances of the photobook through the senses and gesture. Share with us your untold and sensorial experiences in photobook-making using all the senses to conceive a new perspective on the photobook. 

We welcome diverse and imaginative video, sound and #asmr works that open our perceptions of what makes the photobook. The selected submission will be exhibited as part of the FORMAT23 Photobook Market and Exhibition for the duration of the FORMAT23 Festival and online. 


Exhibition/Participation Proposals 

For the FORMAT23 Photobook Exhibition we will also have a dedicated space that will feature 4-6 individuals or groups presenting new or existing work that looks at the performative photobook and explores ‘what the photobook can be’. 

We are looking for proposals from performers, photographers, artists, publishers, designers, curators, printers, writers, archivists, collectors, photobook fetishists and collectives to present ideas to occupy one of these spaces during the FORMAT23 Photobook Market and Exhibition. The work presented or created during the three days will remain in the space as an exhibition for the duration of the festival.  

We want to see proposals which look to create new work or build on existing work, engage audiences in workshops, activities, public talks and performance around the photobook.  



Finally, the Photobook Exhibition aims to show the development of the photobook and its challenges and opportunities in this digital age. Various photobooks are welcome to be submitted, including independent and commercial, handmade as well as self-published. There is no limitation of printing year, theme, nor photographic genre. These books will be displayed in a ‘reading room’ space for the duration of the festival. 



To submit please send your application as a PDF to [email protected] with the title of the selected event in the email subject line. 

All applications should include: 

  • Name (and title of collective or group if relevant) 
  • Link to website or social media 
  • Contact details 
  • Country of residence 

If submitting Video and Sound Works please send: 

  • Description of work submitted (up to 300 words) 
  • Accessible links to view works (I.e YouTube, Vimeo, Google drive or DropBox) 
  • By submitting you consent for your work to be shared online, unless otherwise noted. 


If submitting an Exhibition/Participation Proposals please send: 

  • Description of proposed activity including details of how you would occupy the space during the photobook event, the legacy of the activity that would be exhibited for the duration of the festival and any proposed workshops or talks 
  • Images of previous works or activities 
  • Details of materials required and costs 
  • Number of people involved with a short bio  

If submitting a Book please send: 

  • Short overview of book (200 words) 
  • Images of book or link to view book 


We welcome submissions for multiple outputs from individuals/groups  


Deadline for submissions: Friday 30 December, 11:59pm GMT 

Selected artists notified: w/b 16 January 2023