Someone left this beautiful Taschen book along with their trash on the side of an East Village curb this rainy afternoon. It really boggles the mind how certain things get left behind; the very act of throwing away this book almost supplements the continuing disappearance in instant film in popular culture. Of course, a lot of us know about The Impossible Project and the small-time instant renaissance brought about by Fujifilm's Instax line (I have a mini and LOVE it), but a lot of us can't experience the beautiful quality that Kodak's Polaroid film had achieved through their chemical process before they closed production in 2008.
The polaroid is a hugely culturally significant artifact, especially in Fashion. We wouldn't have model test shots or product test shots without the instant gratification of the Polaroid. In a way, Polaroid film helped speed up with industry with the super fast turnover of creative processes that it has come to rely on. We get a similar effect from Instagram now, which is sort of the beast that technology has created (and don't get me wrong, I loves me some 'gram action), but the physical print is being lost. Chemical film really is a beautiful thing because it burns light on your piece of photo paper or film like it would in the human eye, and the detail and possibility for the presence of the artists' hand is pretty spectacular. Photographers get into the conversation of grain vs. film all the time when it comes to fine art because the two print so differently, and while film just isn't practical anymore, its mystery and wonder is still charming and beautiful.
Anyway, I'm devouring this book. Thanks to whoever threw it out so that I could snap it up.