SPACE auction may also serve as a swan song

Farewell, Polaroid
By DEIRDRE FULTON  |  May 7, 2008
polaroidinside

As SPACE Gallery solicits Polaroid donations for its third annual Polaroid Auction, to be held June 6 (submissions are due by May 16), fans of the instant film are mourning its pending demise; Polaroid announced in February that it will discontinue manufacturing the film in 2008.

“We appreciate your commitment to Polaroid products and apologize for any inconvenience that the discontinuation of certain Polaroid products may cause,” a press release from the Massachusetts-based company reads.

Inconvenience!? Try utter heartbreak and misery. How now will scores of amateur photogs capture spontaneous moments and images for fuzzy, muted perpetuity? Let’s face it: Seeing a digital photo pop up immediately on a viewing screen is nothing like waiting anxiously for colors and shapes to define themselves through Polaroidic alchemy. Maybe it’s just me, but don’t Polaroid pictures make anything (and anyone) seem cool?

But apparently this inherent coolness wasn’t enough for Polaroid marketers, who cite lack of demand and “marketplace conditions” as the reasons for the discontinuation. The company itself is staying afloat; in recent years, Polaroid has expanded into the digital world. Polaroid estimates that its instant film will be completely gone from the shelves by spring/summer 2009. (So stock up now!)

Given the fact that Polaroid film is a limited commodity, SPACE executive director Nat May is being realistic about the future of the gallery’s popular event, which raises money for the non-profit art venue.

“It’s still possible to find film, but who knows if we’ll be able to do this event again next year,” he wonders in an e-mail. “So we’re really hoping to make this a big splash.”

For information on how to submit your photos, visit space538.org.

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