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
Carouse founders Chris, Theo and Ben – the charming folk behind Kentish Town’s Rose and Crown – have a new venture afoot and we couldn’t be more bloody excited to see it. We’ve been creeping in their windows, peering through the paint and sneaking glimpses at builders’ bums for a few months now (okay, maybe not the last one), watching these guys transform this cosy corner of Crouch Hill into a rather cool little boozer. Now they’re opening and everyone is invited. Come one, come all, and try all 20 of their beers on tap with us.
Last month I decided to try clubbing again. I don’t quite know what came over me, but I actually (brace yourselves) enjoyed it. I went to Body Hammer’s monthly party in Manor House and I’m here to tell you to go too, whether you love clubbing, hate clubbing, or really couldn’t care either way. #notspon
Rich, fried, buttery, potato-y vessels loaded with flavor combinations that go down rather well with craft beer, late nights and good times. Ha, who am I kidding, EVERYTHING goes down well with beer. You heard that right buddy, loaded potato skins are back with a bang (and a generous portion of bacon) and are currently being served at Old Street's The Magic Roundabout by street food pop-up Skins and we could not be any happier. Well, unless they were to stuff it with, say, Mac and Cheese or risotto. Oh, that's exactly what they do? Well paint me green and call me a cucumber.
Magical gifts, wonderful gifts, marvellous gifts, beautiful gifts, gifts, glorious gifts glo-ri-ous giiiiiifts. Please Sir, I want some more. It’s that time of year again and whether you love it or loath it gifts will be purchased and presented into expectant hands. Stroud Green's very own Pretty Shiny Shop have compiled a gift guide to help ease the shopping shock. Imagine only having to trot to your local gift shop and tick off your entire shopping list in one fell swoop. Done, finito, terminado! To make it that little sweeter, it's also all very affordable... so you won't even have to pick a pocket or two.
Alright guys, it’s happening. The frosty charm of December is, once again, being beaten to a pulp by the capitalists’ wet dream: Christmas. The hideous twinkling of artificial outdoor lighting is starting to appear, with tourists flocking from far and wide to watch D-list celebrities press a button. Invitations to Christmas parties flood in from your multiple part-time jobs, ensuring you make bad decisions bi-weekly til next year. Supermarkets are selling 12-day advent calendars containing confetti, cookie cutters and candles for a flawless £50. And oh, how the mulled wine flows.
Who doesn’t love a cheeky statistic, correctly sourced? You know we do. Well, did you know that for every £1 spent with a small business, 63p is re-spent in the local area, as opposed to a measly 40p in every £1 re-spent locally with larger businesses? An absolute travesty, am I right? That 23p has to mean something, right, guys?! Guys? Guys, where are you going? Wait, there’s freebies involved too!
By gum there are a lot of winter markets this year. Fueled by sickly sweet mulled wine and overpriced pulled pork sliders, we’ve managed to wade our way through the murky waters of winter markets and find some decent looking ones round this here part of town. Don’t let our Grinch-esq vibes put you off (I’m more of a Pancake Day person myself) because, if you’re into markets, you’ll probably like these. Read on, if you’re merrier than us.
Take a short walk along Finsbury Park’s own sunset strip and you’ll find MoseyHome, an interiors retailer and styling consultancy who have invited us to collaborate with them on an exciting new series titled 'Style My Shop', in which they invite some of London's most talented interiors experts to quite literally style their shop. Interiors porn at it's finest.
Why was the snowman sad? Because he had a meltdown. Much like us, every year, when winter comes. It’s cold, it’s dark, and we know Christmas is on its way. But hey, it’s not all bad – the events round this time of year can be pretty swell. So don your scarf-shawl-blanket and get your frolic on, it’s time for fairy lights, scarfing mulled wine and stuffing your face!
Touch, taste, smell, hear and create art. Smith & Sinclair, purveyors of the Edible Cocktail, presents The Flavour Gallery: a multi-sensory adventure that’ll seduce your senses and tickle your taste buds beyond all imagination. Ooh matron!
Brush the cobwebs off your sexy banana costume; it’s that time of year to make a tit of yourself in fancy dress again. We’ve rounded up the most spine-chilling Halloween happenings in North London and, trust us, they sound horrendous. Be afraid, be very afraid.
God bless the Queen... of Hoxton. Or, more specifically, their rooftop - which happens to be one of our favourites in this here city of London. These guys are well known for creating beautiful, seasonal pop-ups which have included the Nordic Viking themed 'Skye Halla' and the Neverland inspired 'Bangarang'. This winter make way for 'The Moroccan Medina', a sky high hideaway inspired by the romanticism of the beguiling ancient city of Marrakesh.
Next time you need a caffeine hit why not take it from a cup brewed from Jamaican beans grown under a canopy of rainforest-preserving trees, whilst eating a home made vegan banana bread as you sit among an array of sweetly scented blooms. Welcome to Mento, Finsbury Park.
Pilgrim, the newest kid to Hackney's pop-up scene, is a unique dining experience inspired by the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. This six course tasting menu includes regional dishes with a contemporary twist not yet seen before in London.