Public criticisms of the established New Zealand music industry aside, Ian ‘Blink’ Jorgensen might be best known for organising the well-loved Camp A Low Hum music festival during the late 2000s/early 2010s, and running Wellington’s excellent Puppies music venue between late 2012 and early 2014. However, when I first met Ian 15 years ago, he was a high school ball photographer who’d just started taking photographs at concerts on the side.
Soon enough, he was promoting his own concerts under the A Low Hum banner. With the concerts came a DIY music ’zine and CD compilation series of the same name, monthly tours, and even books jam-packed with helpful advice for young musicians, band managers and event promoters. In 2007, Ian threw his first Camp A Low Hum, in the process setting a new benchmark for quality music festivals in New Zealand. Alongside this shift came overseas touring with acts like Disasteradio and Over The Atlantic.
From day one until now, Ian has been quietly and diligently documenting the scenes, shows and tours he’s been involved in through the photographic medium. In March, he celebrated the decade-and-a-half of local and overseas culture he’s been involved in with the release of A Movement, a ten-volume set of photo books spanning 2000–15, and an accompanying series of shows around the country.
Divided into volumes focused on specific bands and the scenes around them — for example, The Mint Chicks & The Underground, Shihad & Wellington Rock — and broader overview editions like Events & Festivals, Touring, etc., as a complete work the set functions on a number of different levels. For those involved in the scenes included, it’s an impressive set of nostalgia-triggers. On the flipside, it also serves as a visual primer on aspects of our recent musical history.
Ian’s intention with A Movement was to present the series as art books, and as such the collection is deliberately presented devoid of stories and commentary. Given the length of time and depth of culture covered, it’s hard to wish he’d paired his well-framed and ‑posed photography up with some written storytelling. Later this year, however, Ian will release a companion film titled Movement, in the process expanding the images presented in the book set into living, breathing stories of lives lived within music, both at home and on the road.
The A Movement photo book series is available for purchase individually or as a boxed set at good record and bookstores around New Zealand.