Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The Polaroid Picture, 1972-2008 - Ross Rosenberg (2009.01.06)
"December 2008 marked the passing of an era in photography as Polaroid Corporation ceased manufacturing instant film, meaning that soon the only way you’ll be able to admire their otherworldly ability to rob reality of spacial relationships will be at garage sales and on Flickr. lens culture posted this fantastic infomercial for the SX-70, the quintessential instant camera. Watching this ad, with its detailed animation of the internal voodoo taking place inside the camera’s body and the chemical process of the self-developing film I’m struck by the ingenuity of “vintage” technology. There’s something about these kinds of devices that I find infinitely more interesting than current gadgets.
I think it has mostly to do with the fact that this kind of gadget is much more about miniaturization than anything. While current technology has a preoccupation — one could say obsession — with combining as many disparate facets of modern existence into a single carapace, something like the SX-70 was meant solely to shrink an otherwise bulky endeavor; in this case the entirety of a photo-lab physically crammed into an object that could fit inside a coat pocket. As astounding as the abilities of a Blackberry may be, it pales in comparison to the idea of, say, a tiny, collapsible printing press."
Polaroid SX-70 Ad [YouTube] : lens culture" - Ross Rosenberg (2009.01.06)