‘Don’t undertake a project unless it’s manifestly important and nearly impossible,’ said Edwin Land, Polaroid’s inventor. When Polaroid’s doors were closed last year these words spurred the factory workers in Enschede to keep the production lines intact and under one roof. They called their mission ‘The Impossible Project’ and spread the word in the hope that someone with a kind heart and a bit of cash would keep the cogs turning. A few months later ‘The Impossible Project’ was made possible thanks to Urban Outfitters, where you can now head to restock on Polaroid film and cameras. In celebration of this new generation, Wallpaper* bagged ten cameras before they hit the shelves and passed them on to ten of their favourite, pioneering creatives and asked them to shoot one film each of whatever they chose.
So we went on to create an impossible polaroid shot.
We knew that as a classical mathematical problem, scientists and other literati have tried since the antiquity to find a solution for squaring the circle, i.e. draw a square with the same area than a set circle. The problem was finally proven impossible in 1822, and the expression became a metaphor for a vain undertaking, a task without possible solution. With hope and passion, we set to prove the problem possible. We went for literally squaring the circle, choosing the mundane two pounds coin as our starting point - or rather, circle.
Macro photography is an impossible task with the classic instant polaroid camera. We had to introduce an additional single lens in front of the camera lens to make it focus so closely. Doing this, you have to operate completely blindly. We had 10 shots - one roll - to get there. Despite the likelihood that we wouldn't achieve anything, we faithfully kept on going. The excitement grew until the last photograph was taken, when the polaroid finally gave in, and let us square our circle. This made up for a rather exciting morning at Troika! Long live the polaroid!