Collective Photography in Solitary Times

‘Collectives’ is a compelling visual essay that offers an intriguing point of view on the recent drastic events we have all been exposed to. It invites the audience to immerse themselves into a series of complex and intricate compositions to reimagine the relationships between us and the space we live in, and how these have been challenged in the context of the pandemic. 

Collectives: design by Kenzo Mayama Kramarz and photography by Cássio Vasconcellos, edited by Quarantine Books

Photography Book

Over the course of ten years, São Paulo based photographer Cássio Vasconcellos has painstakingly converted hundreds of aerial shots into a series of assembled images that could be seen as a near-dystopian view of the world: a sea of endless cars stranded in a massive gridlock, hundreds of aircrafts neatly grounded at an imaginary airport, a building block so monumentally large that its windows look like tiny coloured dots. These images reveal an idea of urban life that’s overwhelming and inherently chaotic, but also alluring and visually engaging.

“It was an open, collaborative effort, in which photography and design came together in a rather symbiotic manner to deliver a daring visual response to the transformations we’re going through — both personally and as a collective of individuals.”

An enhanced awareness

The concept for the book was to reinterpret Vasconcellos’ body of work in the light of our daunting, collective experience. Kramarz’s approach was to add a layer of graphic interventions that bring ‘distancing’ into the equation, and what it means in relation to our awareness in engaging with each other as well as with the world around us. The overall design language aims to enhance the perception of a new gestalt that has been gradually unveiling itself.

The project is one out of a series of eight photography books edited by Lucas Lenci and Andre Matarazzo. All participants engaged in a remote collaboration during the course of a month. The books can be purchased at and proceedings will support Projeto Rizoma @projeto.rizoma, which assists the most vulnerable who have been brutally affected by the Covid in Brazil.

“It was a collaboration genuinely driven by purpose. Brazil is going through hell, a dramatic situation of unimaginable proportions, and the creative community has in many instances stepped up to take action and support important causes.”


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