Polaroid into digital: technology, cultural form, and the social practices of snapshot photography

Buse, Peter (2010) Polaroid into digital: technology, cultural form, and the social practices of snapshot photography. Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 24(2), pp. 215-230. ISSN (print) 1030-4312

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Abstract

This essay is part of a larger project on the cultural history of Polaroid photography and draws on research carried out at the Polaroid corporate archive at Harvard and at the Polaroid company itself in Waltham and Concord, Massachusetts. It sets out to make an addition to the understanding of the new social practices generated by digital photography, but does so by examining an old technology rendered obsolete by the new. It outlines the recent history and decline of Polaroid and identifies the specific properties of the Polaroid image: its speed of appearance, its elimination of the darkroom, and the singularity of the final print. It then addresses the significance of the affinities and differences between the old and new 'instant' photographies, particularly in terms of the snapshot practices that they encourage.

Item Type: Article
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > School of Performance and Screen Studies
Depositing User: Peter Buse
Date Deposited: 30 Oct 2013 20:35
Last Modified: 14 Dec 2013 14:57
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/26725

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