Public Event: LIVE TRAVERSAL (March 1 at 2pm) UVIC


This Friday, March 1st I will be at the University of Victoria - giving a live reading/navigation of my work “Notes Toward Absolute Zero.” Full details below:

Friday, Mar. 1 | 2:00-3:30pm | McPherson Library, Digital Scholarship Commons

Space limited, REGISTER HERE

The Digital Scholarship Commons at the University of Victoria Libraries is pleased to host author Tim McLaughlin and Dr. Dene Grigar for a Traversal of McLaughin’s hypertext novel, Notes Toward Absolute Zero. Written in 1992/93, McLaughlin’s work dates from the pre-web era of hypertext, when the creative potential of the medium was still largely unexplored. Dr. Grigar, director and professor of the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at WSU Vancouver, will conduct a Traversal of McLaughlin’s work; a narrated, recorded performance capturing the experience of the work on period 1990s computing technology.

Stored on decaying media and dependent upon obsolete hardware, digital works from earlier eras present escalating degrees of difficulty to those seeking to experience them in their original, authentic form. Traversal is a process  for documenting and preserving digital media so that they may outlast the transient dependencies of their original making.

Dene Grigar is Professor and Director of The Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver whose research focuses on the creation, curation, preservation, and criticism of Electronic Literature. With Stuart Moulthrop (U of Wisconsin Milwaukee) she developed the methodology for documenting born digital media, a project that culminated in an open-source, multimedia book, entitled Pathfinders (2015), and book of media art criticism, entitled Traversals (2017), for The MIT Press. She is President of the Electronic Literature Organization and Director of the Electronic Literature Lab at WSUV.

Tim McLaughlin is a writer and photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. Over the years Tim has been active in experimental radio, hypertext fiction (he is included in the Encyclopedia of Literature in Canada), graphic design, book production, and documentary film. In partnership with Charllotte Kwon and Maiwa Handprints, Tim documents artisan communities and advocates for the importance and continuation of traditional craft and culture. Recently, Charlotte and Tim worked together to produce Textiles of the Banjara: Cloth and Culture of a Wandering Tribe (Thames and Hudson, 2016).

Yukiko Onley

Yukiko Onley, photographer March 18, 2014

Yukiko Onley, photographer March 18, 2014

Its a daunting task photographing another photographer. I guess the reasons are pretty obvious.

Yukiko Onley and I did some sessions in the Spring of 2014. She was the perfect model with grace and poise and an intuitive sense of what a photographer might be looking for. In the end this was my favourite shot from the session. In my mind it harkens back to Avadon's work with Audrey Hepburn — the black shapes of the figure, the grey backdrop.

This was part of a photographic exchange. I met Yukiko at my exhibition at the Ferry Building Gallery in 2014. She asked me if I would be the subject of a portrait shoot and, as turnabout is fair play, I asked the same.

Yukiko is well known in the Vancouver photographic community for her black and white portrature of such figures as Arthur Erickson, her photography of the Kokoro Dance Theatre and her long artistic relationship/marriage to painter Tony Onley. Her studio/gallery VISUAL SPACE which she shares with Peter Eastwood and Noriko Tidball moved to Dunbar St. in December 2014.

We did this shoot in Yukiko's studio when it was still located a few blocks off Main street.

Kathy Para

Kathy Para, writer, June 29, 2013

Kathy Para, writer, June 29, 2013

By the summer of 2013 I had been working on the portrait project for three full years. I was preparing for my third exhibition and was optimistically working with a printer on a hardcover book. People began to contact me about the possibility of a portrait. One such person was Kathy Para. Her manuscript Lucky (a novel about a photojournalist in Afghanistan) was generating a lot of interest. It was due to be released by Mother Tongue Publishing in the fall and Kathy needed an author photo.

At a certain point Kathy put her hands together in a most unusual way. That was it. I could have used just her hands as a portrait - they seemed to say so much. A book publisher needs something a little less abstract, however, and so the photo below was selected.



Esmé, graduate, June 25, 2013.

Esmé, graduate, June 25, 2013.

The summer seemed to last forever.

But as all days do, this day slowly slips into the past, like a coastline as the boat pulls away from the shore. First the rocks, covered briefly by shallow water, where the measurements are all human: the water is ankle deep, now up to my waist, now over my head, now it is the distance I can swim out to, and now we are beyond that distance also; drifting; the waves are no more than a line where the land and the water meet. Now the deep greens and blues of the coastline are signatures, signing the landscape. Now we are far away. Now we are years away.

Crispin Elsted

Crispin Elsted, printer, poet, April 30, 2013.

Crispin Elsted, printer, poet, April 30, 2013.

"The Elsteds have been operating Barbarian Press for more than thirty-five years. In that time they have done commercial work, such as stationary and cards, and fine press work, including broadsheets, pamphlets and forty books. They've published classic authors—William Shakespeare, Edmund Spenser, John Keats—and contemporary ones, such as Theresa Kishkan and Tim Bowling. They have created, and live, what might be called a handmade life, carrying on traditions and practices that have remained unchanged in their essentials since the fifteenth century, when Gutenberg modified a grape press in Mainz, Germany, and used it to print a bible. They are now among the most senior and respected members of a very small group of people worldwide (the Fine Press Book Association's website lists just 118 member presses) [...]"

Michael Hayward - Geist 87 Winter 2012

H Craig Hanna

H Craig Hanna, artist, March 23, 2013.

H Craig Hanna, artist, March 23, 2013.

I first came across the talented Mr. Hanna when Charllotte handed me his sketchbook. "Here," she said. "You will never believe what we found in Paris." In the warren of gallery spaces known as the Left Bank, on rue Bonaparte, she had found the Laurence Esnol Gallery. Hanna's work was visible from the street.

I did a little research. I looked him up online, trying to find out if he might be a good subject for a portrait. He looked like a pugilist from Hemingway's Paris. Not without a certain nervousness I contacted the gallery and introduced myself. Then the answer came: Craig liked the sample photos I sent him and was willing to do a shoot. Timing might be difficult. Was I flexible?

On the last day of my visit to Paris I got a message from the gallery. Could I be there in an hour? Indeed I could. I felt considerably out of my league. I was in Paris, five-thousand miles from home, with some black velvet cloth and a portable studio set-up in a roller bag. I had support though. My seventeen year old daughter, Esmé would be my assistant. Together we did a quick set-up in the gallery. The results were exactly what I wanted.

Photographing Craig Hanna in the Laurence Esnol Gallery. Esmé McLaughlin-Brooks

Photographing Craig Hanna in the Laurence Esnol Gallery. Esmé McLaughlin-Brooks

In the end I need not have been so apprehensive. Craig was humorous and engaging. Laurence Esnol was kind, generous and very accommodating. During the shoot I had talked to Craig about differences between photography and painting. Before I left he inscribed the front of my copy of his sketchbook.


A photo captures a moment in time.
A painting is time.


On Falling Off the Edge of the World


Falling off the edge of the world ... that's what it feels like. To work so intensely on one project that you put everything else aside. When this happens in the movies it's so dramatic. The person doesn't sleep and forgets to eat. They walk distractedly into traffic and are almost struck down by angry drivers. The music is paced to indicate that time is passing quickly and great advances are being made. Or, perhaps the opposite: that vast resources are being expended on attempts that do not succeed. The tension mounts. Will the project be a success? Or a failure?

For the past year I have been working on a book manuscript with Charllotte Kwon. It is a great undertaking made possible through the company, Maiwa. The project involves writing, photography, mirrors, threads, the British Raj, and great caravans of up to one-hundred thousand pack-bullocks.

The manuscript was finally sent to the publisher last week. Now, we don't want to jinx anything, so we'll just keep it mysterious and low-key for now. But I wanted to say, when I disappeared ... that is where I went.

With that deadline met, I am making plans to return to these posts and to Image on Paper.

"Portraits Found and Taken" wins a silver at the Paris Photo Prize.


Portraits Found and Taken is awarded a silver in the Paris Photo Prize. Tim's portrait work placed silver in the Book category and in the Portraiture category. Here is the press release:



WINNER OF PX3, Prix de la Photographie Paris



Tim McLaughlin of Canada was Awarded:Second Prize in category Book (People)for the entry entitled, " Portraits: Found and Taken ." The jury selected PX3 2014’s winners from thousands of photography entries from over 85 countries.

Px3 is juried by top international decision-makers in the photography industry: Carol Johnson, Curator of Photography of Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; Gilles Raynaldy, Director of Purpose, Paris; Viviene Esders, Expert près la Cour d'Appel de Paris; Mark Heflin, Director of American Illustration + American Photography, New York; Sara Rumens, Lifestyle Photo Editor of Grazia Magazine, London; Françoise Paviot, Director of Galerie Françoise Paviot, Paris; Chrisitine Ollier, Art Director of Filles du Calvaire, Paris; Natalie Johnson, Features Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine, London; Natalie Belayche, Director of Visual Delight, Paris; Kenan Aktulun, VP/Creative Director of Digitas, New York; Chiara Mariani, Photo Editor of Corriere della Sera Magazine, Italy; Arnaud Adida, Director of Acte 2 Gallery/Agency, Paris; Jeannette Mariani, Director of 13 Sévigné Gallery, Paris; Bernard Utudjian, Director of Galerie Polaris, Paris; Agnès Voltz, Director of Chambre Avec Vues, Paris; and Alice Gabriner, World Picture Editor of Time Magazine, New York.

The "Prix de la Photographie Paris" (Px3) strives to promote the appreciation of photography, to discover emerging talent, and introduce photographers from around the world to the artistic community of Paris. Winning photographs from this competition are exhibited in a high-profile gallery in Paris and published in the high-quality, full-color Px3 Annual Book.

For Press Inquiries, Contact:

About the Winner:

Tim McLaughlin has a long-standing interest in photography and its relationship to character. He has been working to expand the ground of formalized portraiture: exploring our idea of what make a likeness and what makes a portrait.

He ives in Roberts Creek, BC, Canada.  Over twenty-five years he has been active in experimental radio, hypertext fiction, graphic design, writing and documentary film production. Many of these works can be found at Ampersand & Company.

In addition to Photography Tim McLaughlin is the editor of Image on Paper a collection of photobook reviews.