Again Instagram has proved both annoying and titillating.
They (the people behind the app) have made websites out of every instgarammer's profile, and they don't look bad..not bad at all because...well, let us clear the air...
Instagram is "annoying" because here is an application where people pop out photos easier and faster than Andy Warhol silk screening pop art. People poke a few smart phone buttons and bam, there's a work of art, while I meticulously obsess over a photograph in camera for minutes, hours, sometimes days...but who am I kidding? It is also titillating because I also poke around and throw out a new piece of "art" in seconds. I then find myself embracing the ease and quickness of the act, and taking it up a notch: I run around and flash my cameras (real and "phoney") like the papparazzi until there are hundreds of images and a few to choose from in order to play and poke, and share them with the great intimate strangers of my social media world.
The people who complain about it are complainers. Period. They're the same people who complain when their toast it too toasted. Or the sun is too bright. They worry that the app is taking over traditional methods of photography or stealing and appropriating work from the internet, or just plain commercializing an artistic field. But let me just say this isn't Starbucks. And if it was, there are still cameras, real ones!, and we can use them too. I know this because I am friends on instagram with two of my old photography professors and a number of fine artists and they are still very much in love with the real thing.
But like anything there are the people in it who go nuts and overstylize and overprocess the hell out of the photos and they are just cartoonish responses to what they see in the world. Some instagrammers just post saved images from their smart phones, often jokey memes or political rants. Many many people post bland photos of bland food and again many post photos of themselves, their children, their homes, a settlement of flowers and trees from a nearby forrest, a lake, a sunset, a funny cat, a crooked toe, a fat lady at the bus stop, a gorgeous girl crossing the street, a musician, a blackeye, a cocktail with a sword....people post the grand and the mundane in their lives, and it is occasionally, quite hopefully, poetry in images. There are details and then there are abstractions. Each photograph says a bit of who you are as a person, and the way you see and reinterpret the world. What is it about these hidden worlds coyly unveiled that we love so much? Like any diaristic exercise, people have layers to shape and to reveal from their intimate lives, whether they are what they ate for lunch or who they love; we can partake or observe at leisure, with the comfortable detachment of a voyeur in the modern world. And you don't have to be getting your MFA in photography to mess around and create a memorable image....though it helps.
Oh, and this is mine: