Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Impossible Project - Enschede NL

One of the most interesting aspects of the revitalization of instant photography is occurring in Enschede Holland, where The Impossible Project has succeeded in restarting the production of integral instant films.  The team of entrepreneurs, ex-Polaroid managers and scientists, and other experts and suppliers have done an amazing thing in my view, especially after the year-plus we have spent here at New55 to simply find sources for some of the exotic materials for our experiments.  To have actually started production again, and have achieved wide distribution of the films is one that I hope everyone appreciates and supports. We certainly do - by buying the film and using it!  The results, sometimes unexpected, are for those of us who are willing to see what might happen next!

The Impossible Project has an "about" page that gives an especially good glimpse into the workings of their Enschede plant that is worth visiting here at this link.

 The image here was shot with an old SX-70 I bought in the 70s at Jordan Marsh at Shopper's World in Framingham, MA using The Impossible Project film.  What a view of my messy bench, and several derelict cameras being converted for other purposes, such as the 110a on the right, and parts and pieces. The close-SLR focusing of the SX-70 camera use to make this image is still a joy to use.  Click on it for a close-up view of the interesting texture.

added later on: If you've read this far you might be interested to know how impressive the plant is, and Enschede in general.  I'm not impressed easily - free, fast wifi on the clean, on-time train to Schipol, and nice clear and sunny weather over a quite beautiful Dutch countryside are also a big plus!

 Andre Bosman of The Impossible Project modestly but heroically stands next to some 20X24 examples of integral images and told me the story how they got the old plant started again. Like Burt Lancaster in The Train, Andre, then plant general manager, took his orders to dismantle and scrap the enormous production machines in a "measured" fashion, meanwhile, the large three city block long property, which had been slated for in-city condos, was waylaid by the mortgage crisis, and so stands today, with much running equipment!

This tale of industrial rescue genius has even more details and wonderful accounts of important things being reclaimed from scrapyards by other highly motivated ex-pols such as Renee, and should be recorded by some historian.  As a process and manufacturing person, I am especially in awe of the accomplishments to-date.

4 comments:

Eric Smith said...

They have done an awesome thing, but I know you'll be right there too, Bob! I would love to someday visit the factory in Enschede.

Bob Crowley said...

If we only accomplish 1/1000th of what they have done, that would be something. I am awestruck, really. The potential, the expertise, the verve is unlike anything I have witnessed in many years of visiting specialized manufacturing.

Anonymous said...

You do get around, Bob! Impressive diligence indeed.

Anonymous said...

Andre is like a moviestar!