Who Created the First Joiner? / by Graham Dew

One band from my youth that I never tire of listening to are the wonderful Talking Heads. Ever fresh and full of ideas, their original sound is probably one of the reasons that their music never seems to date. One album that I don’t have in my collection is More Songs About Buildings and Food, which was released in July 1978. I mention this date because when reading my copy of Hockney’s Cameraworks, I was reminded of the multiple Polaroid image created for the cover of this album.

This complex, gridded joiner was made by the band’s frontman and sometime photographer David Byrne. That date is interesting – some 4 years earlier than Hockney’s first joiners, which are widely described as a discovery of his in spring 1982. Yes, he took pictures of a few irregularly overlapping prints much earlier than this, but this was a pretty common technique. Even I did it as a student at university! So it would seem that Bryne’s joiner pre-dates Hockney’s, something that David Byrne believed too, as retold in this amusing account on Grant Munroe’s blog.