The polaroid image as photo-object

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Buse, P

This article is part of a larger project on the cultural history of Polaroid photography and draws on research done at the Polaroid Corporate archive at Harvard and at the Polaroid company itself. It identifies two cultural practices engendered by Polaroid photography, which, at the point of its extinction, has briefly flared into visibility again. It argues that these practices are mistaken as novel but are in fact rediscoveries of practices that stretch back as many as five decades. The first section identifies Polaroid image-making as a photographic equivalent of what Tom Gunning calls the ‘cinema of attractions’. That is, the emphasis in its use is on the display of photographic technologies rather than the resultant image. Equally, the common practice, in both fine art and vernacular circles, of making composite pictures with Polaroid prints, draws attention from image content and redirects it to the photo as object.
  • References (3)

    Works Cited Adams, Ansel. (1985) An Autobiography. Boston: Little, Brown. Anon. (1971) „60-second-excitement‟ publicity brochure, Box 15-4-1, folder 20, Polaroid Corporation Collection. Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School. Anon. (1972a) „Annual Meeting, 1972‟, Polaroid Newsletter 17:6 (April 26): 8. Box 18-1-2, Polaroid Corporation Collection. Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School. Anon. (1972b) „Polaroid‟s Big Gamble on Small Cameras‟, Time (June 26): 80-5. Anon. (2007a) „Requiem for a Polaroid‟, Flickr.com (December 27), URL (consulted April 14, 2009):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/foamygreen/2141364398/ Anon. (2008a) „Dash Snow submerged‟, Weheartpolaroid.com (April 26), URL (consulted July 31, 2008):

    http://weheartpolaroid.blogspot.com/2008/04/dash-snowsubmerged.html

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