As a photographer, I have used many different types of film. Around 1997 I began using a particular type called Polaroid 665. This film was unique in the fact that unlike all other Polaroid, this type gave both a positive and a negative of the image. For my uses, this high quality negative was far more valuable to me than the positive. I could then go into the darkroom and print from that negative to achieve larger, more manipulated images. Thus, the positive half of the Polaroid was usally given away, or thrown into a box. I never “properly” fixed any of the positive halves with the recommended chemical coating - which would preserve the image. In 2008, Polaroid discontinued this product suddenly, to the great dismay of many photographers.
After years of these Polaroids sitting in boxes mostly forgotton, I noticed interesting changes were taking place. Because they had not been coated with the proper chemistry, they were slowly fading, decaying, disappearing.
I began editing through boxes of these Polaroids, and narrowed them down to 100 that I felt really began to take on a new interesting look – much different than the original photograph. Due to factors including neglected treatment, chemical reactions, prolonged exsposure to light, humidity, these images were morphing into something new, unexpected, and out of my control.
The ongoing transformations, futher and further away from the original image are sometimes subtle, sometimes extreme, sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly, and always uncontrolable. These are the results of the secrets of Polaroid chemistry.
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