The Ice Plant is a small art book publishing company in Los Angeles, California, that has a wonderful penchant for imagery in which there’s an aspect of the peculiar in the mundane. Mike Slack and Tricia Gabriel, the duo that runs The Ice Plant, leapt into publishing after many combined years of experience in the book business. And while they are both photographers, they estimate that this experience working in the business has more to do with how they publish books than their own creative practices in photography.
Twelve years ago, artists Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher created Learning to Love You More, an online, participant-driven project that generated contributions from more than 10,000 people worldwide by its finish in 2009. The idea was that July and Fletcher would post creative assignments to the website, and anyone who wanted could complete any or all of the assignments, as many times as they liked. Participants, both artists and not, photographed or otherwise recorded their submissions, which are still posted publicly online. Both the website and the accompanying book, published by Prestel, generate the same sense of wonder that will be familiar to fans of July’s films and writing.