Kodak Instant film, produced and expired from the late 1970s to the mid 1980s, has become a bit of an obsession of mine over the past five years. Each pack of ten exposures has proved to be its own ready-made darkroom and rapid collaborator.
These examples feature assorted constructions whose manipulated executions yielded various outcomes. Each cameraless construction, some made in a few days and others over a few weeks, emerged from evaluating, grouping, and arranging the often surprising developments contingent upon physical interventions like freezing, heating, drawing w/ scraps of metal, or squeegeeing the film’s emulsion out of its pocket with a piece of hard plastic. Each unique pack of time-sensitive material developed and fixed distinctively based on the temperature during manipulation. Once framed, each completed work is not only a new formal curiosity, but an inventory of effects.
While experimenting with “dead stock” is nothing new in photography, Kodak Instant film, like PR-10, PR 144-10, and HS 144-10, was terminated as part of the historic Polaroid v. Eastman Kodak patent-infringement case, in which Federal District Judge Rya W. Zobel ordered Kodak to withdraw from the instant camera business by early 1986. Working with this specific film furthers my interests in serial form, the photograph as object, chance operations, spilling light, and faux realities.
This on-going exploration is not only a reminder of how reliant the world of photography is to mass-produce products, the free market, and planned obsolescence, but that photographs can be pushed past conventional form and photography has sculptural possibilities.