Eye On: Mikael Kennedy

Avant/Garde Diaries
Feb 27, 2013 10:30PM

Mikael Kennedy made a name for himself as a Polaroid photographer while tirelessly documenting his travels the last thirteen years. His travel blog Passport to Trespass showcases his adventures from "Maine to Wales, through Spain, back and forth across America, into the jungles of Puerto Rico, and finally home; a fine line of wild." Mikael lives and works in New York City when he is not traipsing the world.

How did your affair with the Polaroid begin?It's hard to remember exactly, but I think I found an Sx70 in a thrift store in Massachusetts in 1999 and figured out how to make normal Polaroid film work with that camera. From there I just hit the road with it and never stopped. I had no plan with it, no idea what I was doing. I just liked everything about the Polaroid’s. As it went on, it became important to me that it was a self-contained process since I was usually broke and traveling, and I couldn't develop photos in a darkroom. Now the most important part of it to me is that they are one-of-a-kinds. They are less of photographs to me as they are art objects. It’s important that the photography I exhibit be unique pieces.

You've been working within the same format for 13 years now. Has the discipline of your process affected the way you view the world?
I think's it's actually more that at this point I might understand what I'm doing, and why, a little better. Some things are clearer to me in terms of what I want. I like things that have a history or a narrative that are carried with them physically – things that age. Like an old pair of jeans or an old jacket. I think now that my appreciation of all of these things is linked. It's fascinating, these objects that carry history with them. I think it's rooted in the same thing that I love in the Polaroids. The photo being exhibited or published in a book was actually in someone’s hands in the place the photo was taken. There is dirt on the frame, and that makes it more real. So I don't think that my process has affected how I view the world. It’s that I am beginning to understand what I am looking for in the world.

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Avant/Garde Diaries