An Instant Instant at Science World

BITS – Project Instant V6.0

In ALL by Alice Fleerackers

“In an instant: a moment of time defined as infinitesimal,” reads a plaque by a wide wall of Polaroid photographs, “So short that it becomes difficult to measure, and more difficult to experience.”

I’m at Science World—an interactive science centre in Vancouver, BC—for the first time in years. It feels strange (and a little thrilling) to visit the centre as an adult. But although I can feel my inner 6 year old itching to explore Science World’s new mirror maze exhibition, I’m not there to play with science. I’m there to check out its latest SciArt show, Project Instant V6.0: An Instant Instant.

On view at Science World throughout April 2019, An Instant Instant is a collaboration with Beau Photo.

three black and white photos from Science World's An Instant Instant exhibition
In the Woods by Glenn Bennison, Fujifilm Instax Mini Film – Lomo Automat Camera
three black and white photos from the An Instant Instant show at Science World
Angel in the Grass by John Walker, Integral Film – Polaroid One Camera

The exhibition explores the science behind instant photography through an eclectic mix of techniques—and an even more eclectic mix of artists. The images on the wall in front of me feature instant film of all kinds, from Fujifilm Instax to large-format Polaroid. Each presents a unique interpretation of what “instant” really means. How long is an instant? What does it capture? How does it feel?

two black and white photos from the An Instant Instant show at Science World
Linx Skull #1 (left) and #2 (right) by Anthony DeLorenzo, Polaroid Type 55 – 4×4 Camera
a black and white photo from the An Instant Instant show at Science World
Arrival by Deanna Fogstrom, Integral Film – Polaroid 600 Camera
a black and white photo from the An Instant Instant show at Science World
The Cat’s Pajamas by Deanna Fogstrom, Integral Film – Polaroid 600 Camera (Emulsion Lift)

“Science and art are both are a means of investigation,” Science World’s website explains. “Both involve ideas, theories, and hypotheses that are tested in places where mind and hand come together.”

In An Instant Instant, viewers can see this connection first-hand. Employing their own methodologies, each photographer presents a creative “investigation” of the world around us. They question our preconceptions of time and place, past and present, and deepen our understanding of the moments we experience every day.

Nostalgic and surprising, many of the photographs in the collection stopped me in my tracks—at least, for a long and beautiful instant.

a black and white photo from the An Instant Instant show at Science World
Mornings with Eloise by Jen Echols, Integral Film – Polaroid 600 Camera (Emulsion Lift)
two soft pastel photos from the An Instant Instant show at Science World
East Van Patina by Jen Echols, Integral Film – Polaroid 600 Camera (Emulsion Lift)

Missed the show? Stay tuned for more art exhibits at Science World.

Share this Post

About the Author
Avatar

Alice Fleerackers

Alice is a freelance writer, a researcher at the ScholCommLab, and an editor at the Art the Science blog. With degrees in both psychology and publishing, she is fascinated by the confluence of science and story, and is passionate about bringing research into everyday life. As a journalist, she’s had the pleasure of interviewing media specialists, psychotherapists, anthropologists, and many others on everything from the psychology of cat videos to the “science” of astrology. In her spare time, she rides her bike, dabbles in spoon carving, and—yes—occasionally, reads her horoscope. Twitter: @FleerackersA