Polaroids and Nostaliga

Posted in The Gnovis Blog



It does seem like I’m always coming around here to tell you about things I’m really interested in, but haven’t quite worked through all the implications. Sorry about that. It does seem like that is what blogging is for, so I hope you’ll stay with me as I’m working through all these things.

Anyway, I’ve just discovered this free application, Poladroid Project, that will turn your digital photos into Polaroids (or, at least make them look like Polaroids– washed out colors, white borders, and all). I love it. In a way I’m almost embarassed by, I love this application. Unlike some past applications that promise to make your photos look like Polaroids, this one gets the color change just right AND they’ve managed to get a decent scan of the texture of the white border– to me that is the essence of what makes a Polaroid unique. You can spend entirely too much time in theif Flickr pool. Or is that just me?

Nostaliga, defined by Wikipedia as "a longing for the past, often in idealized form," has been at the center of my academic inquiries lately. Of course, it is also frequently at the center of my personal life too.



I sometimes wonder if the DIY culture’s appropriation of antiques, polaroids, and vintage anything comes from a desire to move away from the sleek and hyper-stylized world of iPhones and laptops. In the 1950s, when technology was so fara way from what people really experienced, the ultra modern was appealing. Today, when technology is incresingly part of all our lives, the turn back to things made in the 1960s and 70s makes sense– technolgoy then wasn’t quite so scary (nuclear weapons an exception here), and we’ve filtered out how annoying it is to pay $1 per photo for Polaroid film.

Is it odd that we’re faking old technolgy with our new, sleek, and super-powerful MacBooks? I kind of think so– these fakes are so good, that I’m wondering when we’ll be able to recreate the sense of wonder at old things? In a lot of ways, I think I can’t stop looking at these because they have recreated the sense of old, history, and nostaligia.

Take some time to play around with this application– you’ll see what I mean.