Subscribe via RSS Feed Connect on Google Plus Connect on Flickr

The Disruptive Polaroid

Friday, 5 December, 2014

To celebrate its 85th birthday, Businessweek has listed the 85 most disruptive ideas that have emerged during its lifetime. They range from GDP to the jet engine, and in between there’s the Pill, Singapore, <h1>HTML</h1>, Starbucks and the AK-47. When you mouse-over No. 84, it makes the whirring sound of a Polaroid picture being taken, and that’s because Edward Land’s innovation is adjudged to be one of the most disruptive ideas in recent times. In his tribute to the camera, Christopher Makos writes:

Polaroids were the first social network. You’d take a picture, and someone would say, “I want one, too,” so you’d give it away and take another. People shared Polaroids the way they now share information on social media. Of course, it was more personal, because you were sharing with just one person, not the entire world.

I met Andy Warhol in the ’70s at the Whitney Museum and started doing projects with him because he loved my photographs. He’d never had a pal who was a photographer, so I was his guru, showing him what cameras to buy, what pictures to take. Andy loved Polaroid. Everything was “gee whiz”; it was brand-new. So immediate.

Taking a selfie with a Polaroid is also very intimate. They weren’t called selfies back then, obviously. People weren’t as self-aware. We didn’t have 10 years of reality TV shows in the social consciousness. But Polaroid marked the beginning of self-awareness.

polaroids


Comments are closed.