Photography degree zero: cultural history of the polaroid image

Autumn 2007

Buse considers technological developments in photography since Edwin Land invented the Polaroid camera in 1947, and suggests the cultural role of “instant” image making. The article criticises Roland Barthes’ and Stephen Heath’s dismissal of the Polaroid, discusses its imminent obsolescence, and suggests that its intimate image-making-in the specialised sense developed by Georges Bataille-is most culturally significant.

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