Polarized: Technology and Aesthetics of Polaroid Art
June 3 – June 15, 2017, Reception June 3rd from 7-10pm
120 Main Street, Gloucester, MA 01930
An exhibit showcasing abstractionist David Robinson and work by students of Monica Allon at The Perkins School for the Blind. Polarized: Technology and Aesthetics of Polaroid Art is a combination of original experimental Polaroid instant film prints, 20×24 large format and tactile diagrams. The photographs by David Robinson and students from Perkins reveal both decisive and pure, unfiltered and inherently conceptual, moments in time. June 3 – June 15, with a reception on Saturday, June 3rd from 7pm-10pm.
Monica Allon initiated a Polaroid project for the Lower School Extended Day Program at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, Massachusetts. The artists are students ages 10-15. “I would bring in very tangible and functional objects from the past for our students to examine, including a typewriter, a record player, a rotary phone and a Polaroid camera. The students gravitated toward the camera because of its shape, which fit perfectly into their hands, the buttons to push and the sounds produced as a picture is taken and the film print comes out of the camera,” Monica Allon stated. The students were aware that they were creating instant objects of art which became more apparent when the tactile diagrams were created from their pictures. Using Polaroid film cameras over the course of a year, this group of students, with the aid of Teaching Assistants, learned about and documented their environment. In viewing this collection of photographs, one will appreciate a different perspective of objects and structures, causing each of us to take another look at what we see.
A selection of original Polaroid snapshots will be exhibited along with tactile diagram enlargements. Each Polaroid snapshot has been enlarged and, with the use of technology, tactile diagrams were created. The method used to produce the tactile diagrams of the Polaroids is through Microcapsule or Thermal Imaging. The images were edited with the use of graphic image software. Betsey Sennott at the Perkins oversees this technology. Large print and braille identify each piece of artwork.
In 1972, Polaroid introduced the SX-70, a fully automatic, motorized unit that ejected a square print from the front. The high technology removed the barriers of speed and distribution between the photographer and the photo. Polaroid SX-70 film produced a fully developed print in about one minute. Instant gratification and simplicity were key for David Robinson who purchased the camera. The simplicity of the SX-70 system belied its technical complexity. Within the 2 millimeter thick film unit was a sandwich of thin polymer sheets, a positive image-receiving sheet, reagent, timing and light reflecting layers, and the tri-color negative -17 layers. When mechanically pushed through a roller system, the reagent housed in the iconic white frame spread evenly across the 17 separate layers of emulsion. He experimented with both SX-70 film and SX-70 Time zero film which had a strong following with artists who used it for image manipulation.
READ MORE HERE: HUDSON GALLERY