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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

April 16, 2007
After having already compiled the best items from the long-running Found magazine into two anthology books, as well as publishing several issues of the raunchiest and most perverse social dregs in Dirty Found, Davy Rothbart and Jason Bitner have further expanded their Found franchise with the first Found Polaroids book. Within the collection's 185 pages we are treated to a more detailed survey of the grainy, white-framed photographs that members of the Found team have accumulated over the years. While not nearly as entertaining as the Dirty Found series, this coffee table eyepiece is without doubt a much more classic and tasteful collection, and it turns out to be both distinct and widely appealing.

I wish I could print the introduction to Found Polaroids in its entirety for everyone to read; it is a well-written mission statement that romanticizes a dying style of photography and also makes the reader think about their own past within the focus of a Polaroid picture. For the sake of space, the following is a brief summary from the book's glossy cover: "A collection of our favorite Polaroids - tiny plastic windows into people's lives, collected over the years in our pursuit of all things found."

The casual viewer could easily leaf through this book in under 30 minutes, but the photo and caption content are far more revealing than just a cursory glance. The most captivating Polaroids are actually not the best photographs, in a traditional sense, but rather those that seem to physically have a story to tell. In one photo a woman's face is outlined with black permanent marker and, in the blank white space at the bottom, reads the text "TERRIBLE" with an arrow pointing up. A nasty breakup? We can only hypothesize. Another striking photograph is of a chubby, shirtless Hispanic man sitting in a chair, dazedly staring at the camera. The image alone is fairly humorous, but add to it a shaggy dog standing in a shitty homemade doghouse with an equally odd and unfocused stare and you have gold.

Although not all of the moments captured in the photographs were all that comical or inherently interesting to start out, many of them have become that way through post-shot physical scuffs, careless frame rips, bizarre captioning and the general effects of aging. Others garner relevance through well-told tales of how they were found, funny hypotheses as to their origins, or just obscure arty-ness. One in particular (a Polaroid of a man holding a cat) finds itself partnered with a detailed caption and an awfully presumptuous "what if" story. Whether or not the reader finds a trace of truth or relevance, the caption forces them to fantasize about the Polaroid's history.

Despite different subject matters, both the recently published Dirty Found #3 and Found Polaroids are eclectic and wonderful projects in visual literature. Dirty might find a warmer welcome amongst edgy personalities and liberal college kids, but Polaroids could capture the interest of sociologists, scrapbook-loving wonderers, or really anyone who enjoys a pointless laugh. No matter how you slice it, these recent additions show that the Found collective is still innovative and booming with quality.

SEE ALSO: www.foundmagazine.com

--
Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other articles by Josh Zanger.

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