Shake it Like a Polaroid Picture

The Rise and Fall of an Analog Social Medium

Authored by: Sheila C. Murphy

The Routledge Companion to Media Technology and Obsolescence

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138216266
eBook ISBN: 9781315442686
Adobe ISBN:


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People of a certain age know the move—the flick of the wrist as one shakes a Polaroid print in an effort to hasten its resolution into a photographic image. This essay primarily focuses on the consumer phenomenon of the Polaroid instant camera. While other Polaroid technologies were used extensively in art photography, the company’s instant camera was a hit with consumers. Therefore, “Shake It” looks to the temporal and phenomenological dimensions of taking, viewing, and sharing the analog visual experience afforded by Polaroid’s “instant” camera. 1

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