24 April 2009


I haven't decided what all this is going to be about yet. Probably one of those any-road-will-take-me-there things. In whatever direction it heads, my interests in technology, design and how they intersect will be in tow. So it feels right that my first posts should be drawn from the ground zero of those interests.

In 1975 my parents gave me a Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera. Depending upon your vintage, you may remember it: a sleek, chrome and leather artifact that, when folded, looked like an oversized cigarette case. At the time of its introduction in 1972, it was nothing short of a revolution in optics, engineering, chemistry, microelectronics and product design. So, my earliest introduction to design and photography was visualized through the awkward viewfinder of a very peculiar and flawed little picture taking machine that had a preprogrammed mind of its own and produced interesting (if not always accurate, or conventional, or pleasing) images.

My love of the SX-70 was about more than pictures. It was at least as much about the fun of working around it's peculiarities and programming as it was the sensory experience of using it. Squeezing the shutter touched off this little symphony of whirring motors and pivoting mirrors. Even the film's odor, the emulsion and developers and opacifiers, was oddly pleasing. Commes des Garcons should clone the fragrance.

From the moment I loaded the first film pack, I spent an awfully lot of time reimagining my world through this camera.

That's where it all started for me.

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