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Interview|Michael Mack

As part of the Hariban Award 2022 programme, we interviewed one of this year’s Juror’s Michael Mack, Director and Founder of the London based publishing house MACK

Could you share with us some of your earliest experiences with art and specifically photography? What initially motivated you to pursue a career in the arts industry?

Michael Mack (MM): I had no formal or early familial connections to the art world. I trained as a lawyer and worked as a lawyer briefly in the City of London. I was determined to get as far away from that form of work as quickly as I could. I always had an interest in photography and the arts and decided to retrain and move into a space that could provide more personal fulfilment. 
Mack First Book Award
Image © MACK

We’d like to highlight MACK’s engagement and support of the artistic careers of young artists. In particular, with the Mack First Book Award which began in 2012 and came to a close in its current format last year. Could you reflect on what motivated you to initiate the award, share a key learning experience from the period, and if possible offer a glimpse into your new programme supporting books by emerging artists?

MM: Our First Book Award was launched to provide support at a very particular juncture for emerging artists who did not have the support to publish their own book, and to allow greater and more detailed exploration of the book form as a medium.
We closed it after ten years as a consequence of the massive shift in the photobook publishing realm. At the moment, it is a little overwhelmed by awards and by many publishers, as well as a great deal of self-publishing. Instead, we shifted to support research-based scholarship, such as our annual research fellowship, providing funds for research in cultural histories that have been unexplored in the intersection of art, photography, and literature. 
However, our publishing will always include a significant element of support of the work of emerging and young artists, who we continue to publish regularly.

Collaborative processes offer the chance for something new and exciting to happen. Could you share with us your thoughts on collaboration, its value in relation to the ways in which you/MACK approach your work and your thoughts in relation to printmaking and what the Hariban Award offers?

MM: Collaboration is very much at the heart of the process I believe in and is the best part of MACK publishing. Very rarely do projects come to us perfectly formed, and I think it is above all the editorial, design, and production process and engagement we can offer. Taking all our expertise and experience and aligning that with the strong ideas of a powerful artist produces the very best books. That collaboration is the most fundamental and enjoyable part of the process. The rest is just business. 


The Hariban Award similarly provides an unrivalled opportunity for an artist to explore a space in printmaking, which doesn’t exist in any other atelier in the world. It is a wonderful, inspiring and unique possibility. 

Thought Pieces presented by MACK
Image © MACK

It’s been incredibly exciting and inspiring to see the growth in ways in which audiences are able to engage with the titles produced by MACK. Through Thought Pieces, Mack Live, making available critical texts and insightful conversations on the Blog. All provide more possibilities for audiences to experience and learn more about both the artist’s and MACK’s work. With this in mind, could you share with us your thoughts on connection and community, reflect on how/if this has evolved since the start of your imprint, and your hopes on how MACK as a platform will grow in future?

MM: The pandemic forced us to re-engineer our entire platform. We effectively moved forward in three months in ways we had hoped to do in three years because we realised immediately that if we wanted to reach an audience in the absence of live, in-person engagement, we would have to do it through our digital platform. 


It was a wonderful opportunity to think about what we are and to work on producing entirely new content for our audiences. The most exciting part of this is that it has led us to think about new and different communities, as well as a desire to engage widely in these other spaces. For example, we’re now publishing a list of architecture titles, as well as titles relating to film, literature, and critical theory. Our platform has become much more grounded in a broad base of arts and culture, as well as issues relating to politics. 


Publishing is about community because it’s about audiences. Community is fundamental to everything we do. 

Lastly, could you share some advice to artists thinking about entering the Hariban Award this year

MM: The possibilities of form and medium are endless. Never limit yourself. 
Subscribe to MACK’s Youtube Channel for special interviews and insights from both publisher, artist and special contributors
Video © MACK

HARIBAN AWARD 2022 審査員マイケル・マック インタビュー

HARIBAN AWARD 2022プログラムの一環として、今年の審査員の一人である、出版社MACK ディレクターマイケル・マック氏にインタビューをおこないました。MACKにおける作家や読者に対する考え方と取り組み、またHARIBAN AWARDについてお話しいただきました。




Mack First Book Award
Video © MACK











Subscribe to MACK’s Youtube Channel for interviews and insights from both publisher, artist and special contributors
Video © MACK

MACKの手がけた本に対して読者の関わり方が広がっていくことは、とても刺激的で胸が躍ります。例えばMACKは、Thought PiecesMack Liveを通じて、評論や洞察に満ちた対話をBlog上で公開しています。これらの活動は、観客がアーティストとMACKの作品を体験し、より深く知るための多くの可能性を提供するものです。これを踏まえて、読者とのつながりやコミュニティについての考え、出版をスタートさせた当時からどのように進化してきたか教えてください。また、プラットフォームとしてのMACKが今後どのように成長していくかについて、あなたの期待などがあれば聞かせてください。








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