Saturday, October 17, 2009

To dream the Impossible Project

old polaroid found
Originally uploaded by sillei128
I was a bit sad to see Polaroid film discontinued last year. There's something alien about the Polaroid aesthetic- the pictures always look to me like they were taken at crime scenes or on the set of a cheap porn film in a parallel dimension. You can get some cool artistic effects in Polaroid that you really can't get with digital cameras or higher end film cameras.

But the company went into bankruptcy because people just don't use Polaroid cameras anymore. I suspect one thing that hurt Polaroid was that people can now take dirty pictures on digital. It used to be you either had to get dirty pictures developed at the local photomat, dealing with awkward looks from the store manager and the knowledge that the young men who developed the film all had their own prints of your nudity; or people took their homemade porn pics with Polaroid cameras and cut out the horny teenaged middleman. Digital cameras removed that need altogether- people can take dirty pictures that never leave their laptop. Ah, technology!

I'm not the only one who misses Polaroid, and I know my friend Majda still takes Polaroids. Lucky for her, an Austrian group calling itself The Impossible Project set about manufacturing "instant analog" film and cameras again, working with a group of Dutch scientists. Now, whoever it is that owns Polaroid at this point is commissioning The Impossible Project to manufacture a limited edition line of film for the new line of Polaroid cameras they're going to issue.

They say you can never go back again. But I'm glad that some people don't see why not.

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