Much like the American singer/songwriter Paul Simon who crooned nostalgic over visual technology in his 1970s hit “Kodachrome,” Austrian entrepreneur Florian Kaps is making his own case for keeping the Polaroid camera alive in today’s visual market.
Wall Street Journal writer Eric Felten in “It’s Baaaaack! But Polaroid Film Was Just Lucky” describes Kaps’ tenacious journey to save the Polaroid from utter oblivion—from begging the junk men not to destroy the last functioning Polaroid factory machines outside of Amsterdam while he vigorously raised money to save them, to putting together a team of scientists to come up with a new sepia-toned black-and-white film that could be used in standard Polaroid cameras (the arcane chemicals originally used to run in the machines could no longer be produced).
What’s resulted from Kaps’ valiant efforts to preserve a medium that we often associate with the psychedelic, saturated ’60s (although it was invented in 1929) is The Impossible Project. It’s a website that allows individuals around the world to peruse and purchase classic Polaroid cameras with modern twists, and also a wide variety of analog instant film.
The Glimpse team gives kudos to Kaps for preserving a nearly extinct perspective, and for keeping the dialogue between new and old visual technology alive and well.
Above image titled “Enschede5.” ©The Impossible Project