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Williams, Rob. One in twelve UK adults admit they photograph attractive strangers on public transport, in the park or at the doctor's surgery claims poll.

Williams, Rob. One in twelve UK adults admit they photograph attractive strangers on public transport, in the park or at the doctor's surgery claims poll. The Independent. 01/08/2013. 
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/one-in-twelve-uk-adults-admit-they-photograph-attractive-strangers-on-public-transport-in-the-park-or-at-the-doctors-surgery-claims-poll-8742339.html

Thomas Messett, head of digital marketing for Europe at Nokia, said: "Our research has given us a real insight into the ever-changing quirky habits of the British public.
"It would appear that wiping your mobile phone pictures is a typical part of the digital break-up and gone are the days when people would burn photos of their exes."

 

I Love Huckabees.

I Love Huckabees \ 2004 \ David O'Russell \ Fox  Searchlight Pictures, KANZEON, N1 European Film Produktions, Qwerty Films,  Scott Rudin Productions \ 106 mins.

Chapter 15

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Chapter  21

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Chapter 22

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1. The first still shows Catrine Vauban (Isabelle Huppert) holding both a Polaroid camera and Polaroid photograph. While the photographic image itself is not shown, she has just taken a photograph of Albert Markovski (Jason Schwartzman - stood to her right).

2. The second still, from chapter 21, shows the Polaroid of Brad Stand (Jude Law), taken by Vauban and in the possession of Markovski.  The third - a modified version of the second (chapter 21) - has not been physically altered; rather, the imposition of Markovski's face over that of  Stand's is a visual manifestation of Markovski's thoughts. To this degree then, this composite can be regarded as intra-diegetic.

3. The final still shows Markovski holding up the same Polaroid to Stand and asking: Who is that? You or me?

Also see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_%E2%99%A5_Huckabees (last modified 25/07/13). 

Knocked up.

Knocked up / Judd Apatow / 2007 / Universal Pictures, Apatow Productions / 129 mins.

From the end credits (paratext):

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Ma Mere.

Ma Mere \ 2004 \ Christophe Honore \ Bernard Henri levy, Paulo branco \ 110 min.

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The Polaroids are stuck on the left side of the door frame. Their dimensions indicate that the Polaroid type is spectra/Image system and/or 1200.

The size of the still above does not permit close analysis of the actual Polaroids. I watched the film on a 14.5" screen; what the images actually depicted is unclear. They have no bearing on the film - though the pornographic image features in a number of scenes. 

The Vanishing (USA).

The Vanishing / 1992 / George Sluizer / 20th Century Fox / 110 mins.

The most telling difference between the original and American version of this film, even though both are by the same director, relate to the narrative structure. Also of note is the strength of the female character, Rita Baker (Nancy Travis).

While use of the integral Polaroid is broadly similar, it is employed less frequently. And perhaps the most interesting Polaroid, that taken at the service station - which features in both the original version as well as the book - is not present. The poster image of Diane Shaver (Sandra Bullock) does, however, appear to be taken from the integral Polaroid shown, unlike that in the original film where its source is not specified.

Chapter 4

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Chapter 5

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Chapter 7

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1. The stills from chapter 4 show Jeff Harriman (Kiefer Sutherland) in the service station looking for his girlfriend:

Jeff: I'm looking for my girlfriend. She came in here to buy a beer. Look I've got a picture. I just took this today. This is exactly what she's wearing.

Woman at till: Yes I did see her.

Jeff: When?

Woman at till: About half hour ago. She was over there by the lotto machine.

Jeff: Was she alone? Did she talk to anyone?

Woman at till: You know how many people pass through here?

Jeff then proceeds to show the integral Polaroid to the people queuing.

Indecently, there is a marked difference between the actual dialogue spoken and that provided by the sub-titles. For instance, the beginning of the conversation transcribed above is detailed as follows:

Jeff: I'm looking for my girlfriend. Look. I've got a picture I took today. She's wearing this.

2. The still from chapter 5 shows the poster seeking information as to the whereabouts of Diane, which, as detailed above, appears to be directly taken from the Polaroid image shown in chapter 4.

3.  The still from chapter 7 shows Rita looking at the integral Polaroid of Diane first shown in chapter 4, as she realises that Jeff is still intent on discovering the whereabouts of Diane - after previously promising that he would move on from this part of his life.

Born Romantic.

Born Romantic \ 2000 \ David Kane \ BBC , Kismet Film Company \ 97 mins.

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Jocelyn (Catherine McCormack) looks after graves for 'people who've moved city or emigrated' and sends the families a Polaroid of the tended grave once a month - a collection of which she is holding up in the still to the left.

Peter Buse. The Polaroid as Image - Object. (5)

Buse, Peter. The Polaroid as Image - Object. The Journal of Visual Culture. Vol. 9, No.2. 2010. Sage Publications. pp 189-207.

Might not the instantaneousness of Polaroid photography be seen as a leisure-world complement to the ‘contraction of time, the disappearance of … territorial space’ (Virilio, 1986: 140–1) (p199)

From:
Virilio, Paul (1986) Speed and Politics: An Essay on Dromology, translated by Mark Polizzotti. New York: Semiotext(e).

Peter Buse. The Polaroid as Image - Object. (4)

Peter Buse. The Polaroid as Image - Object. The Journal of Visual Culture. Vol. 9, No.2. 2010. Sage Publications. pp 189-207.

In the chapter Photography of Attractions, Buse begins by discussing the work of Jeremy Kost (http://jeremykost.com/) who has carved out a niche photographing the rich and famous with his Polaroid camera, his very access to such people granted by the use, the novelty and attraction of the medium.

Referencing Trotman's positioning of the SX70 Polaroid as party camera, Buse integrates this notion within a wider social and historical context, noting the Polaroid Corporation's own articulations of the medium as a means by which to break down barriers, its function as an 'ice-breaker'. This, of course, pre-dates the introduction of the integral Polaroid in 1972, highlighted in Buse's quotation from the 1956 handbook of Polaroid photography Pictures in a Minute:

There is no faster, surer way of meeting people than to unlimber a Polaroid Land camera and start shooting … Start flashing away at a party or dance and you’ll be overwhelmed by people who were strangers just a few moments ago. (p121, quoted on p194)

And it is this means of social interaction that Buse investigates with reference to Trotman  through the concept of the 'event.' It is not just that the Polaroid records and reveals, it becomes 'the main attraction that gets things going.' (p195). As Buse argues, this is no better illustrated than by the many examples within Polaroid's advertising as well as through the work of Kost, of Polaroid images showing people looking at Polaroid images - the previous image just taken: 'In the iconography of Polaroid photography, this scene of narcissistic absorption is the ur-image...' (p195).

Buse here is focusing on the taking of the Polaroid and its development, or revealing, in distinction to what the actual image maybe of as a 'gimmick' or ‘photography of attractions’. This references the work of Tom Gunning and  André Gaudreault in 1980s who proposed that early cinema was a  'cinema of attractions'

Rather than taking storytelling as its main organizing principle, the ‘cinema of attractions’ emphasized sensation and shocks, with ‘display’, or what Gaudreault called ‘monstration’, as its defining characteristic. (p197) 

It should be noted that Buse does not accord this 'photography of attractions' to Polaroid photography alone:

... a line of continuity running between the seaside while-you-wait camera, the automated amusement park photo booth (complete with theatrical curtain), the Polaroid camera as ‘ice-breaker’ and Jeremy Kost’s infiltration into the New York celebrity party scene (p197)

Buse concludes this chapter by returning to the argument that it is the process rather than the image that is of importance:

In the photography of attractions, the representational value of the image is not entirely negligible, but it has receded in importance, giving way to what might be called its ‘demonstration-value’, where it is the process and not the product that takes precedence. (p198)

The Polaroid as a 'photography of attractions' is no-doubt one of the reasons why the medium also lends itself to performance art. Marina  Abramović and Ulay (Frank Uwe Laysiepen) used the Polaroid extensively, Abramović most notably in Rhythm 0 (1974) where she:

... allowed people to use one of the 72 objects, such as chains, feathers, a Polaroid camera, olive oil, razor blades, an axe, a rose, a bullet and a gun, on the table in any way that they chose upon her for six hours.
http://www.whatisparticipatoryart.com/1239075/
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Also see http://www.ulay.net/.

Hester Reeve incorporates the Polaroid in The most evil thing I can possibly say (performance for camera), The resultant Polaroids also  providing the documentation of the performance. Reeve also produced a live art event for the opening of the 2002 Polarama exhibition (Folly, Lancaster), documentation of which was  also by the Italian artist Lucio Valerio Pini (also see: http://www.hesterreeve.com/).

Peter Buse. The Polaroid As Image - Object. (3)

Buse, Peter. The Polaroid as Image - Object. The Journal of Visual Culture. Vol. 9, No.2. 2010. Sage Publications. pp 189-207.

That it produces an image immediately and also a hard copy makes it fleetingly seem an innovation that comes after digital photography. (195)

Buse brings to the fore here the notion of the integral Polaroid as the vanishing mediator the bridge between analogue and digital photography. That the integral Polaroid references the daguerreotype through its very singularity and physicality lends additional weight to its (historical))significance. 

Peter Buse. The Polaroid As Image - Object. (2)

Buse, Peter. The Polaroid as Image - Object. The Journal of Visual Culture. Vol. 9, No.2. 2010. Sage Publications. pp 189-207.

What sort of photo-object is a Polaroid print? Or, more importantly, what material social practices does it give rise to, What desiring networks do they participate in, and what unconscious investments animate them? This article examines two such practices. (p192)

On the first Buse writes:

In Polaroid photography, the material activity of making the image, the fact that it develops on the spot rather than later in a darkroom, is, as Trotman says, an event in itself. (p192)

This is a reference to Nat Tortman's often referenced essay from 2002, The Life of the Party: The Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera and Instant Film Photography (Afterimage 29(6), May/June: 10).

Of the second, Buse, after Edwards and Hart (2004) terms this ‘presentational form’:

... the tendency, found in both fine art and vernacular uses of Polaroid photography, to group large numbers of instant prints together in composite figures, or what will be called here ‘Polaroid mosaics’, to take into account the tile-like properties of the prints.

Of these two modes Buse goes on to ask:

Just as in the first practice the spectacle of producing the image equals or eclipses in importance the resultant image, so in the Polaroid mosaic, the print as combinatory object threatens to displace the print as individual image. How to explain this insistent surplus of object over image in instant photography? (p192)

The separation of object and image is difficult to perform, so bound up are these two seemingly distinct modes through the senses of touch and sight. Additionally - and especially with reference to the photograph - such responses are often related through notions of the emotional, typified in Camera Lucida. The importance then, resides in stressing a focus on the physicality of the photograph alone.

Once this emotional frame work is relinquished, it is possible to attribute additional factors to the Polaroid as object and the use of the integral Polaroid(s) as a sculptural material. And there are, of course, other means of display that can be utilised to configure the Polaroid as such an object, as the image below, taken from an exhibition at the Centre for Contemporary Art (Preston) makes clear. 

S. Cousin / Durability (1)

S. Cousin / Durability (1)

The use of the Polaroid in mosaics, and the degree to which this mode of use positions the Polaroid as object, is one I am not entirely comfortable with. While such a means of display does integrate the object-ness of the medium, with its function as image, such distinctions do, I believe, remain opaque.

Hannah Villiger used the Polaroid as an intra negative to create larger prints which were often displayed in grids so as to engage with the photograph as sculpture, especially with reference to the relationship between the viewer and space in which the work is located. But, as I argue in my revised thesis (which I am still working on...), this does not treat the Polaroid as object quite enough; there is not, for me at least, the required degree of 'surplus'.

Sean O'Hagan. Analogue artists defying the digital age.

Sean O'Hagan. Analogue artists defying the digital age. Th Observer. 24/04/2011.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2011/apr/24/mavericks-defying-digital-age.

With indecent haste, the digital revolution has consigned many of our once-cherished artefacts to the dustbin of history. Though enthusiasts and obsessives have stayed loyal to pre-digital formats, for the rest of us it feels like the vinyl record, the photographic print, the Polaroid camera, the analogue recording studio and the darkroom have been cast aside, rendered all but obsolete by a digitally driven culture that devours all that preceded it. Soon, we are told, the newspaper and the book may share the same fate.

Are they [the artists discussed] driven by nostalgia for a past they did not live though and in retreat from a present that makes them uneasy as it makes everything easier?

This is a common reaction. In 1970, sociologist Alvin Toffler coined the phrase "futureshock" to describe a psychological state for those faced with "too much change in too short a period of time".

Peter Buse. The Polaroid as Image - Object. (1)

Buse, Peter. The Polaroid as Image - Object. The Journal of Visual Culture. Vol. 9, No.2. 2010. Sage Publications. pp 189-207. 

These new photo-materialists prefer to examine photos that have been worked upon in one way or another after they have been made, but there is also a type of photograph which is already at the point of taking a photo-object of the sort that interests them – the Polaroid or ‘instant’ print. (p190)

Buse touches on an interesting point here, and all the more interesting because the Polaroid seems strangely absent from discussions by 'these new photo-materialists.' The book Photographs Objects Histories (Edwards, Hart. 2004). for instance, does not mention Polaroid, 

Buse notes that Edwards and Hart (Photographs Objects Histories, 2004) locate the materiality of the photograph as encompassing:

‘... the plasticity of the image itself, its chemistry, the paper it is printed on’; its ‘presentational forms’ (such as albums, mounts, and frames); and ‘the physical traces of usage and time’ (p3, p190)

... the photographic image inside the Polaroid print’s familiar white frame is surely no longer a Polaroid if separated from that frame, which itself is supplementary to the image. (p190)

Stuart Jeffries. Puppets, twitterjacking and the art of digital fakery.

Stuart Jeffries. Puppets, twitterjacking and the art of digital fakery. The Guardian. 29/09/2011.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/sep/29/sock-puppets-twitterjacking-digital-fakery.

This is an age in which technology makes it easier than ever to lie or concoct fakes, but, quite often, makes it harder than ever to prevent oneself being found out.

New 5-dimensional glass memory discs will 'survive the human race'.

Vincent, James. New 5-dimensional glass memory discs will 'survive the human race'. The Independent. 10/07/2013.
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/new-5dimensional-glass-memory-discs-will-survive-the-human-race-8700319.html.

Professor Peter Kazansky, the ORC's group supervisor, added: "It is thrilling to think that we have created the first document which will likely survive the human race. This technology can secure the last evidence of civilisation: all we've learnt will not be forgotten."

 

The Vanishing.

The Vanishing (Original title: Spoorloos) / George Sluizer / 1988 / Golden Egg Films / 107 mins. 
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0096163/?ref_=sr_2

Chapter 4.

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Chapter 7.

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Chapter 10.

While the first Polaroid from chapter 4 is not shown, it is mentioned by Raymond during the following conversation with Simone Lemorne (Bernadette Le Saché) - the man who abducted Saskia at the service station.

Simone: True, I don't like the idea that you know my name. I have to limit my risks. But you could have traced it from the license plate. You won't gain anything from opening an investigation.

Raymond: The coins from the coffee machine. Your prints are on them.

Simone: If I'd being thirsty, and if I'd had a coffee, I'd have held the coins by the edge.

Raymond: Your on a Polaroid I took at the gas station!

Simone: That's a lie. You would have recognized me at the cafe in Nimes. I was there.

Raymond: Second table on the right.

Simone [After a pause]: Passport.

1. The first still from chapter 4 shows the the Polaroid Raymond Lemorne (Bernard-Pierre Donnadieu) takes as he waits for Saskia Wagter (Johanna ter Steege) to return from the service station, writing on the lower white border: 'Car getting used to Saskia!' - for they have previously decided that Saskia will drive for the final leg of the journey. While Raymond is shown taking the Polaroid camera from the car, the actual taking of the image is not shown - however, it is audible.

2. In the subsequent two stills from chapter 4 (Saskia has still not returned to the car) Raymond is showing the woman at the till in the service station a Polaroid of Saskia, asking if she has seen her (the taking of this Polaroid is not shown and can be assumed to have been taken prior to the events depicted thus far). What is interesting here - and why I have included two stills showing both the front and back of the Polaroid - is that it is of a different format to the other. While the former is either type 600 or SX70, the latter is Image System/Spectra film. Each of which, of course, requires a different camera.

In the preceding scene Raymond shows the Polaroid to two men, asking: 'Excuse me, have you seen this woman?', one of whom states that he saw her by the entrance to the service station. Returning to this location Raymond says to himself out loud: 'If she was here with the cans, then she was on her way back. So she must have seen me. Which means I could also see her. The Polaroid!.'

3. The fourth still from chapter 4 again shows the Polaroid of the car. Raymond is showing the Polaroid to a supervisor, saying: 'Look! Here she is. Here, the little red dot. See? It's her. It can't be anyone else. And there's somebody here, beside her. We've got to find him!' Of course, figures are difficult to distinguish.  

4. The still from chapter 7 shows the poster soliciting information as to the whereabouts of Saskia, and while not a copy of the Image System/Spectra Polaroid shown to the woman at the till, bares similarities. Indeed, on first viewing I took it to be a copy.

There are a number of differences between the film and the book, most noticeable is that the type of photograph shown to the woman in the service station is not specified, it is described only as a 'picture' (p18), 'photograph' (p19) and 'snapshot' (p19). The picture mentioned on p41 could possibly be the same photograph also.