I have purchased a polaroid like camera . The fuji instamax neo 90 mini .
I was interested in exploring the materiality of the polaroid as a photographic object . An instant memory , a representation of reality as an instant physical photographic object . A photograph as an image of time and space . A framed icon of the past made into a physical memory before our eyes . How is this perceived in our minds ?
This instant image has a function to the viewer and to the person who took it , according to photographys rules . With old photographic processes the image takes time and skill to produce . Each different process implys its own materiality and notions .
There are still artistic skills used and needed in the taking of a polaroid especially now with the new fuji neo 90 , but all the developing process is cut short and done for us . I still sense the nostalgic “ satisfying – like “ feelings of excitement when I hold the polaroid . It is like I am developing it myself at the touch of a button , because it is what it is and has a great material form which comes out of the camera instantly as you press the shutter it seems more valid and artistic to the “touch” . You can take part in holding the memory straight away , being a more materialistic part of it .
I feel like I want to carry them on my person . It is to me a finished object although I feel like I want to play with and create something else from these objects . Why do I feel as I want to wrap the polaroid up in a valuable substance or material . I want to procure them in a safe place or hide them in secret location as I would treasure .
I cannot and will not change it anymore . Its materiality is different to say digital which I could work on after the image has been taken ( in photoshop ) . With a polaroid it is instant , but final and in more different ways it is satisfying in its own right . With other formats of film there is an exposure to light and then a time interval until it is developed in the dark room . A polaroid has an exposure to light but is instantly developed with no time gap between the exposure and the developing ( Could that time gap make any difference to the image in any slight way ) ?
Maybe a polaroid is more truthful in its representation of reality . I think I would trust a polaroid more that a digital , would you … ? I also enjoy the polaroids frame its thick chunky bottom and thin white borders are part of its history and are bondingly nice to the touch . It has a sensation of gel like thickness that I find appealing . When I was a child I had strong urges to deface the polaroid and look inside at what it held . This feeling of more inside the image attracts me to it even further after a while of using it .
My curiosity to look inside obejcts and find out how they work when I was young deeply extended to the polaroid . I used to enjoy destroying it . I felt like it had a working inside mechanism which I wanted to discover . I wanted to collect them and keep them safe as valuable objects , which I find I am doing again but with a greater hunger – like satisfaction because I have aged and gained more understanding of the photographs nature .
I think a polaroid brings your subconscious yearning into a reality quicker and more so than most other photographic forms and it is especially important because it does this , and even more so nowadays as the artistic process involved in creating the memory is a lot more than your latter day polaroid cameras . I think there is a welcomed place in the future for a more skillfully involved instant print camera .
The longevity and permanence of the instant print beats digitals 20 years and has many other plus factors . I think people mis place and mis prioritise the usefulness and importance of the instant print .
I have also noticed and find it very strange that the instant print camera is taken less offensively than my Nikon . People seem to approach it with an unthreatened giggle and allow me to take their image more so than if I approached them with my dslr . They are then very happy when I sometimes offer them a printed relic of themselves to keep . I have even been returned in kind with favours and money . It proves to me that historys concepts make and deliver societys reactions to them .
I felt that all of the instant prints qualitys would go well with my wetplate idea of applying permanence to the objects of Queenstown but give it a totally different valuable and materialistic quality .