In February 2008, polaroid all but crushed the collective soul of analog-photo aficionados by announcing that it was discontinuing its production of instant film, which had been a favored medium by artists and amateurs for 60 years. Luckily, over a couple of beers following the closing event at Polaroid’s factory in Enschede, Switzerland, lomography lovers Dr. Florian Kaps and André Bosman came up with the idea for The Impossible Project (TIP). By October 2008, the Impossible team had purchased Polaroid’s instant-film machinery, hired 10 of Polaroid’s top employees and leased a building at the company’s old factory. And by 2011, the company had released a ­Silver Shade and Color Shade version of film, as well as several limited editions (with black and gray frames or a blue polka-dot version for the haute Parisian boutique Colette).

Fast-forward to this month, when TIP will further the proposition with the release of the Impossible Instant Lab, a processor similar to a Polaroid camera that hooks to your iPhone (and eventually Android phones) to make instant analog prints of digital images. “On one side, it was a very crazy idea. But on the other, it was a very natural thing to do,” says Kaps of the project, which received a $600,000 infusion from a fall 2012 Kickstarter campaign. “I really love analog film,” Kaps admits. “But at the end of the day, most of my pictures are on the iPhone because it’s much easier.” By combining cutting-edge digital-camera technology, light exposure and basic chemistry, prints from the Instant Lab will depend on temperature, humidity and “a lot of things you cannot control,” adds Kaps. “It brings the Instagram idea into reality.” He notes that cracked or scratched screens and videos should make for great art. “You can make double exposures and use a lot of creative techniques. I’m very much looking forward to watching people experiment with it.”

$299

www.theimpossibleproject.com