This is What Happens When You Nuke Polaroids in the Microwave

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All images by Oliver Blohm. Used with permission.

Photographer Oliver Blohm had a problem. He absolutely loves instant film. But as many photographers know not only is it tough to come by but it also has its problems. The older Polaroid film used to develop fairly quickly–as does the current available stock of Fujifilm instant emulsions. But according to him, the closest thing is Impossible Project film. However, the development time can take 30-45 minutes.

That’s longer than some folks’ lunch breaks! And with that in mind, Oliver set about trying to find a way to speed up the process. By using a microwave and a shield that is based on a wet carton and glass, he discovered a procedure that ended up shortening the development time back to two or three minutes. As a result though, you also get a more or less controllable process of destroying the film material which creates unique failures, textures, shapes, burns, etc.

He calls the series Hatzfraz/Fast Food.

When asked about the inspiration for the series, Oliver has this to say:

“Two years ago I get to know Michael Fischer while buying Polaroid film from him on Ebay. We started to write to each other about different experiences. At this time he worked for Impossible in Vienna and a few months later he was send to Berlin to present the Impossible Project on a Festival. We met each other in person and had a good time together. I assisted him at the workshop and presented some of my experiments to him. He told me, if I find something new to do with Impossible film, he will introduce me to Impossible. And after this proposal I started to think about reducing the development time. I worked as a lector in the laboratory of my university (Hochschule Wismar – Universtiy of Applied Science, Technology, Business and Design)) for the first years of studying and learned a lot about photographic chemie and processes. So I started to test the film on different external influences like heat. At the beginning I burned them just for fun, but I realized that this is the key, so I tried the microwave. I started to create a case to protect to Integralfilm and to nuke him more or less controlled by using this machine. At the end I was able to reduce the development time from 40min to 2-5min.”

Here are the images:

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