To The Moon and Back With Impossible And The Lumen Collective
Written by: Sophie Taylor
“Don’t undertake a project unless it’s manifestly important and nearly impossible.” – Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid and inventor of the world’s first instant camera.
Last week it was another so called Supermoon (meaning it’s approximately 16% closer to Earth). “I defy you to notice” says our astronomer for the evening, asking us to point up to the moon and compare it to our pinky fingernail. “It’s still tiny”, he continues as we all stand in a semi circle simultaneously emulating E.T. and The Fairport Convention.
We have gathered on the roof of Netil360 in Hackney to perv on the full moon and take creepy close up photos of him through telescopes. It’s a Stargazing and Lunar Photography event with Hackney Arts, Impossible and the Lumen Collective, where we also meet an astronomer named Paul.
When Polaroid announced the end of instant film in 2008, Impossible stepped in to buy the last remaining factory, days before it closed down. The machines had been dismantled, there were no formulas to follow and the supply chain had already been destroyed. “If we wanted to keep instant photography alive, we had to reinvent instant film from scratch.”
Eight years later, with the help of some incredible chemists, engineers and photographers, Impossible are the only people in the world who make original format instant film. They make film in both colour and black and white, for Polaroid 600-type, SX-70 and Image/Spectra cameras, as well as large format 8×10 film.
They also refurbish classic Polaroid cameras so they’re as good as new, and have introduced their own new range of Impossible cameras.
“We believe in making real photos. Photos with a life after the shutter clicks. Photos that develop in the palm of your hand, ready to pin to the wall or give to a friend. That’s why we’ve spent eight years working on our film formula. It’s why we’re reinventing analog instant photography in a digital world.”
Astronomer Paul Hill was an absolute treat. I am currently Googling him to find some more events that he’s got up his sleeve. I shall report back. He took us on a skywards guided tour, talking lunar science and helping us view the stars, Venus and the Moon through a collection of telescopes. We learned that the Moon is actually made from bits of the Earth from when it had rings like Saturn. Or something a bit more complicated than that but basically that’s how I remember it. Also, did you know, gold doesn’t come from the Earth but is actually made from stars that have decided to die dramatically and explode, supernova style, before accidentally landing on this little planet of ours? Now you do.
With the help from the super-talented Lumen collective, East London’s art collective dedicated to astronomy and light, we were guided in taking a unique photograph of the Moon to take home and stroke, nightly.
Have a look at our attempts to print the moon. Mine’s the blurry white blob on the left.
Photos of photos by Mike Barry
Our exclusive meeting with Eroc: the Beyonce of the skateboarding dog world. Eroc the french bulldog is making waves. With fans like Tony Hawk, BBC Radio and over 30k followers on Instagram (and counting), Eroc has also become something of an online sensation. His viral status comes and goes, randomly popping up on online social media channels every now and again to generate hundreds of thousands of views and clicks via the likes of Buzzfeed, Time Out and rogue iPhone filmers.
We all have our own ways of dealing with life when things get shitty. Having a big cry and getting it all out can be incredibly therapeutic, and even more so when we find ourselves repeating the same line over and over through the tears. “He’s a dick!” or “I’m not a bad person!” These little lines of reinforcement help us push through the crappy feeling. Sometimes we might even revert to a hearty little stamp on the floor / kick of some unsuspecting object. It feels surprisingly satisfying when the rage sets in and we feel helpless.
This Friday sees the release of Malian master musicians, Trio Da Kali’s new album Ladilikan. Fusing rich, expressive vocals with traditional instruments like the balafon and bass ngoni, this is a beautiful mix of ancient Mande culture and contemporary Malian sounds. Luckily for us North Londoners, we have the opportunity to see the trio play live in the rather fitting ethereal surrounds of Stoke Newington Church next month.
Walking along Monsell Road in Finsbury Park, we spy the charming exterior of a shop looking like something out of a children’s book circa 1932. Beneath a green and white striped awning, a whimsical new world of mini animals awaits. Once inside we stumble about the store in hushed awe, reaching over a book of minuscule carpet samples/ family of miniature otters to tap a tiny bell.
Whether you’re looking for something to entertain your kids, your friends’ kids or that particularly large man child in your life, you might just have lucked out. Snug are hosting an open air screening of The Incredibles next Saturday evening. There will be tasty sourdough pizzas from Sodo Pizza (Upper Clapton) and ultimate authentic curries from Rice n Spice, Northwold Road.
Coming soon to a Tufnell Park near you is a whole new vegetable patch of delights / wheat field to run vicariously through. It’s time to get excited for Ceremony: a brand new bar/restaurant serving modern British veggie cuisine. Although the website remains tantalisingly mysterious, you can glean more info from their well stocked insta.
Sound baths, pit parties, fake cheese and nipples, these are a few of our favourite things, said no one ever. Bored of drinking down the pub every evening? Unlikely, but bare with me. Sometimes you just want to let down your hair, shake it off and do something down right odd of an evening... followed by a pint at the pub.
It’s been a few months since the last instalment of Online vs Offline. I deleted Bumble, Happn and Tinder, flirted with the idea of match.com, went to a friend’s wedding, heard the vicar call my name instead of the Bride’s and reflected briefly on the crushing inevitability of my own spinsterhood before realising everyone was laughing in the pews and I should probably join them.
Gluten-free cake consumers, vegan cheese enthusiasts, craft beer connoisseurs, lovers of pies and drinkers of tea; your time is now. Buy food of a quality & variety you can’t easily find in the shops, from organic meat to vegan cheese, fish caught that morning to pickles which have been fermenting for months, at Stroud Green market.
Who’s up for free entry, free cake and free folk (except for a jaunty little hat that is passed around for donations)? Get down to The Finsbury this Wednesday eve for a little mid week hootenanny and celebrate some of the best in new live music from the ‘acoustic, singer-songwriter & indie-folk scene’. Host with the most, Zoe Konez (“Ridiculously talented, Konez handles her guitar like she was born with it” - For Folk's Sake) will be deftly introducing each act from gin soaked folk popster herself, Penniless Cove to German indie band, Kalon.
What if you could mix the joys of your local Sunday car boot and all it’s dog perving potential with your favourite vintage clothes shops and high end antique markets? Within the sparkling depths of Dalson’s former ABC cinema, you’ll find The Big London Flea: London’s largest indoor vintage market.
Well, last Saturday morning gym memberships gave way to lie-ins and sleep finally bowed down to some serious carb cravings. Finding ourselves at Oslo later that morning, it was a case of hangover meets diet, salmon vs chorizo. If you’re not feeling too peckish, Oslo isn’t the place for you.
Joni Belaruski’s following has accompanied the artist from her Northern Irish roots and drummer beginnings with punk folk favourites, The Great Malarkey, to a plethora of London gallery shows. This September sees the painter join photographer Karla da Silva at The Beaucatcher Salon with new show, Jupiter Waiting For The Moon. Belaruski's paintings are at times dark and playful, while da Silva’s dreamy imagery is other worldly, creating both mystical landscapes and colourful smoke-filled portraiture.
Get your glad rags on darlings. It’s time for a happening in Dalston. Farrs School of Dancing are recreating Andy Warhol’s Factory next Sunday with live performances, music, films and.. well, not quite silk screening but some good old school colouring-in to get stuck into. This is your chance to finally wear that suede fringe bolero and feather boa combo you gleamed from Crisis last October. The best dressed will receive their fifteen minutes of fame, in true Warholian screen test style.
Until five minutes ago I would’ve believed Pet Nat was a holistic dog food brand / veterinary business in Wood Green. I’m half right actually*, but in the boozios world it’s a fizzy wine. Pétillant Naturel is light and fizzy, usually pretty low on the alcohol scale and rather sweet. Think the opposite of a dry red wine.
As part of our Beyond The Binary series we asked stars of the upcoming Come As You Are Festival which gender specific expressions that really grind their gears. We started with Man Up! whose first answer came from the title of their show.