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

Buse, P 2010, 'Polaroid after digital: technology, cultural form, and the social practices of snapshot photography' , Continuum, 24 (2) , pp. 215-230.

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The essay 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 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
Additional Information: This is a preprint of an article whose final and definitive form has been published in Continuum © 2010 Continuum is available online at:
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Journal or Publication Title: Continuum
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1030-4312
Depositing User: P Buse
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2011 13:15
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 01:02

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