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I am a Camera

I have been making the zine “I am a Camera” since 2000. These days it comes out annually and takes the form of a story or stories about my life. This is its most basic definition, each one has a particular focus and mood, relating to my life and interests at the time.

I am a Camera #21

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I am a Camera enters its third decade. This time: lockdown and beyond, with calendars, candles, jellyfish, a thermos, bookstores and newsagencies.

I am a Camera #20

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The 20th anniversary issue, with reflections on 20 years of autobiographical zinemaking and stories of walking, thinking and observing, scarves, flowers and physics.

I am a Camera #19

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A set of interconnected stories about living with grief and how to remember people who are gone.

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I am a Camera #18

A set of interconnected stories that chart a year-or-so of my life. Driving, talking to strangers, nightswimming, moments when life’s veneer seems thin and another world can be glimpsed.

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I am a Camera #17

Stories about Sydney and its changes, demolition, the memory city, making literal and metaphorical maps, living precariously, watching familiar places disappear.

I am a Camera #16

As the label says, this is the story of my journey to Japan’s rabbit island, Okunoshima, which is in the inland sea. Okunoshima is a small island that was once home to a poison gas factory and therefore left off official maps. Now it is a rabbit sanctuary, where people come across on an old, battered ferry with bags of carrots to feed the bunnies. I travelled there in summer 2011, and this zine is the story of my adventures on the island and in Japan in general.

I am a Camera 15, here pictured among the stuff on my desk, is a long story about visiting Dunedin and what kinds of things I found there. Follow me as I climb its hills, enter its public library, eat its lolly cakes, and look for the house where the Death and The Maiden videoclip was recorded. It’s a tribute to the Flying Nun bands of the 80s that I love, and the romance of being in a small city at the bottom of the world.

I am a Camera #14

Behind the alligator cover (he is my favourite shipping container logo, for MOL) is a long story that weaves in and out of my life here and now. It is about fibro houses, love, dust storms, freight trains, the suburbs, Halloween, poodles, death, sex, talking to strangers, jelly beans, garage sales, matchboxes, spying. So in other words, everyday life.

I am a Camera #13

10 years after I am a Camera #1, still going. This issue has 11 036 words in it – if words were days, that would be 30.2 years, dangerously close to the age at which I wrote it. There are many other mysteries and spells contained within.

The Pocket Watch Edition, a web of interlinked stories about time and falling in love. It has stories about ghosts, book sales, crosswords, ferris wheels, explosions in the middle of the night, picnics at night, and how to perform a ritual with a large dried fish and a recording of Les Rallizes Denudes.

Topics covered include: watchmaking, spa shops, fish, thistles, souvenir spoons, crossword puzzles, teenagers conversations, drugs and liquor, kissing, cycling, bears.

I am a Camera #12

I spent a long time in the library, searching for pictures of peacocks, and so they pop up on every page of this zine. It has stories about Halloween, skulls on sticks, Simon Joyner, a knitting machine, the Aisler’s Set, an old milk bar, time travel and going out in Prague. As is the trend, most stories bear some relation to what actually happened. It has a gocco-printed cover, of a long ago Parisian peacock.

I am a Camera #11

50 pages of memories, desire, photographs, dresses, cars, songs written in the 1980s and rescuing things other people have thrown away. It has a lino-printed cover and a mixture of both fact and fiction, decorated with zoetrope strips.

I am a Camera #10

A story about Portugal,  based on my travels there in 2005. It has the expected, things like sunlight and custard tarts, and the unexpected, things like shops that sell only gloves and goth clubs. There are two different covers, but both feature old postcards of swimming pools in Portugal.

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