Mission Impossible

Nuvango Gallery and Impossible Project
Inspired by our latest exhibition INSTANT we asked two of our gallery interns share a few words. Read on for Michelle Tripodi's intro to the Impossible Project, Found Polaroids and our latest exhibition (closing on July 3rd).

The instant image: for the majority of people today this means a quick snap on a smartphone, applying aesthetically pleasing filters and exporting the image via a photo-sharing app into cyberspace. The Impossible Project, on the other hand, seeks to preserve and resurrect the original analog instant image– no re-takes, no digital copies– through instant film: inherently immediate and yet tangible, an increasingly rare commodity in today’s digital society. Nuvango Gallery is excited to present a collaborative exhibit with this fascinating company, and in preparation for this exhibition I dove deep into the history and current creative problem-solving of the Impossible Project.

Impossible Project

Intervening just two days before the last remaining Polaroid film factory in Enschede, Holland was to close its doors and destroy millions of dollars of equipment in 2008, three enthusiasts with a vision stepped in to undertake the impossible task of recreating the lost original film formula for Polaroid cameras; the Impossible Project was born.

The title of the project was aptly appropriated from a quote by Edwin Land, the eminent founder of Polaroid: “don't undertake a project unless it's manifestly important and nearly impossible.” Impossible Project co-founder Florian Kaps and his team hired former Polaroid engineers to create chemical recipes (with some early attempts being more successful than others) while preserving the original analog charm found in Polaroid images. Today, Impossible is the only company in the world who makes original format instant film.

Most recently, Impossible has launched its own line of instant cameras. One of the project’s main objectives is to reinvent analog instant photography for the digital age; the latest Impossible offering is the I-1 model (which launched at the Museum of Modern Art Design Store in SoHo earlier in May) does just this. While there has been a resurgence of what is old is now new in the technology sphere (the recent reappearance of vinyl records and cassette tapes comes to mind), the I-1 model–which has an austere, retro Polaroid feel to it–is not a camera that belongs in the past, more nostalgic than functional; the camera’s settings can be altered via Bluetooth through a smartphone app.

i-1 Type Camera Nuvango Gallery Impossible Project
The Impossible Project has collaborated with Kyler Zeleny’s ongoing-project Found Polaroids at Nuvango Gallery as part of our INSTANT, open now and closingJuly 3rd. Throughout the entirety of this exhibition, the new I-1 camera and two other re-furbished polaroid cameras are available for guests to take an instant image to submit it to the community gallery wall, curated by the Nuvango team.
Come participate in the exhibit, pick up a new camera or stock up on film..... before this INSTANT is over.
Join us for the closing party June 29th, 8-10pm. Full details here