Instant Joy: The State of Polaroid
I’m not one to get nostalgic about old technology. Sure the typewriter was classic, and Super 8 cameras are all fun and games until you try to edit anything, but nothing has quite found a place in people’s hearts as much as the Polaroid camera. Since the company announced it would stop producing cameras and film in 2008, the price and availability of film has turned into its own black market. Just do a simple search on ebay or Craigslist and you’ll see what I mean. Now that digital cameras have proliferated to the point that Fisher-Price now makes them for toddlers, the Polaroid represents something more than just instant results. It’s all about the look. You know the faded finish that produces instant nostalgia on matte back square. Unlike other gadgets from yesteryear the Polaroid will not go the way of the laserdisc. There is hope in sight. That’s where The Impossible Project comes in.
Despite it’s name, this organization is making leaps and bounds when it comes to re-starting the production of film for old Polaroid cameras. After buying a factory from Polaroid in Holland, they’ve teamed up with Urban Outfitters (collective groan) and plan on selling film in 2010. No to knock UO, starting on August 21, they’ve started selling deadstock film with proceeds going towards the Impossible Project. To clarify, the project’s goal is not to manufacture the original Polaroid film but to make a new and better film that is compatible with all the old cameras under a new brand name. Whatever they call it, anyone who’s a roid-lover can now breathe a big, heavy sigh. In the meantime, you can help the wheels of production going by supporting The Impossible Project. To further support and remember what is now considered an ‘art form”, check out Polaroid.net to browse or post your photos in the soon to be largest archive of instant photography. Because you can’t dig up old dusty flickr files out of a shoebox and reminisce.