The Altogether is the latest book by Chris Coekin. The photographs were
produced in a factory that began manufacturing copper wire in 1834.
Unfortunately, the factory recently closed and the entire workforce was
made redundant. The Altogether is a multi-layered project that
investigates the notions of art, work and struggle. The book comprises
three series of images and is accompanied by a seven-inch vinyl record
that includes two audio tracks: Days at The Factories and CuSO4 Shuffle.
The Altogether are staged portraits of the employees of the factory -
the backbone of the production. Coekin found his inspiration in the
iconography and theatricality of Trade Union banners. Manufactory Pt I
investigates the overlooked industrial space where a collision between
nature, toil and the manufacturing process has occurred, resulting in a
formation of a geological micro-environment. Manufactory Pt II (aka Made
in England) are studies of old manual tools that Coekin found. These
actions took on the process of an archaeological dig and the artifacts
that he unearthed became metaphors and symbols of a 'lost work force.'
Days at the Factories and CuSo4 Shuffle synthesise sounds from the
factory and feature recorded spoken word from the factory workers.
Collaboration with a music producer has resulted in a more refined
melodic and musical interpretation of these sounds.
The photographs are reproduced on hand-folded gatefold pages running
concurrently through the book including a text written by Coekin. The
cover illustration is foil printed and embossed onto cloth, these
processes pay homage to the craftsman.