StoryCube Cameras

Without seeing my post on Thomas Hudson Reeve and his paper cameras, Niharika suggested we try to turn StoryCubes into pinhole cameras. When we mentioned this to Giles we discovered that a project he had commissioned by Tina Keane for Coil Journal of the Moving Image had involved pinhole cameras and there were still a few unused ones around. So we began…

We improvised with the bathroom at Proboscis as a darkroom and a packet of sun-print paper from the Tate Gallery Shop standing in for proper photographic paper. This paper seems to be intended to be used for photograms but we thought we’d see how it worked in the pinhole camera.

Setting up the first experiment

For our first experiment we aimed the cube camera at the Clerkenwell skyline. We opened the lens, waited for five minutes then went inside to develop our picture. We were rewarded with a beautiful piece of blue paper.. NOTHING had made it onto the paper!

The second experiment and a photogram of scissors

While we tried pinhole experiment 2 turning our camera on an apple (hey, if it’s good enough for Isaac Newton..!) we also set up a photogram trial with a scrap of paper to give us an idea of exposure times. The photogram turned out pretty well, we left the camera for another 5 minutes after developing the photogram and got.. another piece of blue paper.

Our output: some keys, half a spoon, a pair of scissors and two squares of blue paper..


Paper Cameras

Pinhole photograph of the World Trade Center by Thomas Hudson Reeve

I was googling around the other day searching for interesting things people had done with cubes and I came across the website of Thomas Hudson Reeve, a New York based artist who have creates paper pinhole cameras.

What I like about these cameras is that the they are inseparable from the photographs they take. The camera is made out of a sheet of photographic paper shaped into a cube (with the photo-sensitive side on the inside of course). The cube is sealed to keep out the light and a tiny pinhole made into one side. The paper is exposed to light via this pinhole then the camera is unfolded and the paper developed to reveal the print.

Four photographs/paper cameras by Thomas Hudson Reeve

You can see the folds on the final print showing where the cube camera used to be, and the pinhole is visible too. The prints give a sense of the entirety of the scene photographed as you see images from where light fell not only directly onto the back of the cube, but fell slanted onto the sides, top and bottom.

See more on the website


Competition: Hand-made by bookleteer

A creative mess in the Proboscis studio…

I’ve been having a great time recently playing around with hand-made eBooks and StoryCubes and Giles and I thought we’d invite you to join in. So we’re going to run a little competition called Hand-made by bookleteer.

Send us your photographs of  hand-made eBooks and StoryCubes and we’ll write about the ones we like best on the blog. Hand-made might mean pop-up, cut-out, collage, printed, illustration, decoration, StoryCube sculpture, electronic eBooks – or something we haven’t thought of yet!

What about prizes you ask? Well, we have 20 packs of StoryCubes to give away as prizes. These packs contain 8 pre-cut blank StoryCubes and 48 blank stickers. The StoryCubes are made from cardboard and sturdier than the ones that can be made by printing on bookleteer. The stickers can be printed using a laser or inkjet printer and then stuck onto the cubes. Proboscis have used these cardboard StoryCubes for many many projects and they’re brilliant. So get making. You have until 14 July 2010..

You can either email your photos to me at karen(at)proboscis(dot)org(dot)uk  or upload them to the bookleteer flickr group.

P.S If you want to take part but don’t yet have a bookleteer account go to the website and request one by clicking on the link in the top right corner below the login box.


A Cube with More than Six Sides

So far I’ve mostly written about eBooks but bookleteer also makes StoryCubes, and to inspire my experiments I’m thought I’d write about this cube of cubes created by Sydney-based illustrator Matt Huyhn.

During the Perception Peterborough project Matt worked with Proboscis to create visual representations of Proboscis’ research. These images were put onto each side of eight storycubes which were then connected together to create an object that can be opened, folded and turned to hide and reveal various themes and elements drawn from the research work.

There’s something quite hypnotic about playing with this cube object and seeing different images come and go in your hands.

You can see more of Matt’s work on his website here..

publishing on demand

May StoryCubes Printing Deadline

The next printing deadline for StoryCubes will be 5pm Thursday 27th May 2010.

Please ensure your orders are submitted by this time and can pay promptly by Paypal (orders which are not paid by 12 noon GMT Friday 28th will NOT be sent to press).

publishing on demand

Print On Demand StoryCubes

10 new StoryCubes created with bookleteer were printed (in varying quantities) and delivered to customers this week – 100 copies of 1 cube for our friends at We Are Words + Pictures for their Modern Romance events on Feb 14th; and 9 cubes as part of a commission by the Early Intervention project for Birmingham Total Place.

8 of the cubes formed a special set (in an edition of 75) of drawings inspired by the issues and challenges faced by parents and community workers in Birmingham. A further cube was created for the Birmingham Total Place conference which was designed to provoke questions about Early Intervention and what more can be done.

We also had some fun making up large exhibition versions of the BTP cubes:

To create and order your own StoryCubes, contact us for details on prices and delivery options: sales at

updates & improvements

Interface Tweak

Following feedback at this week’s PU&P we’ve made a small, but important tweak to the StoryCube create/edit page – a diagram showing the position and orientation of each image on the cube (front and back):


The exact dimensions of each StoryCube face are 55mm by 55mm and we recommend making images at no less than exact size at 72dpi (or 150dpi optimum).

publishing on demand

Recent eBooks made with bookleteer


We now have over 70 registered users of bookleteer and the number of eBooks and StoryCubes being created and published is growing by the week. We’ve recently published new Transformations series commissions by Linda CarroliJulie Myers and Will Davies with forthcoming works in the pipeline by Rita J. King, Ghislaine Boddington and Andrew Kötting. There are eBooks created by users such as Tim Wright and Matthew Sheret (made during the first Pitch Up & Publish event), Lorraine Warren & Ted Fuller, as well as myself. The students on our City as Material course have created a series of eBooks documenting their urban interventions and the previous post describes the Hindi/English eNotebooks created by Niharika Hariharan for her Articulating Futures education workshops. We’re currently working with several partners to help them use bookleteer as part of their activities including DodoLabLACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), Architecture Centre Network, Year Zero One and others in the new year.

We’ve also created a bookleteer tag on Diffusion to make it easy to follow the latest publications.

Let us know what you think of them and what you’d do with a bookleteer account…