Q: / A: / Q: / A:: Insta-don't.
Instagram privileges the impression of trite aesthetics over content; and reinforces the superficial notion that visual rendering is the only dimension to photography. Instagram is the idea that form doesn’t follow function if the form itself is sufficiently appealing. Aesthetics, in fine art, exist as mean to communicate an artists’ intent. Instagram is the ideal that this intent is a vestige left to remain atrophied by image makers.
What this app is based off is several wrong assumptions:
- OId photographs are interesting because of their flaws -They are not. They are technically-flawed images that are interesting because of other content; and most of them (well, the legible ones, anyway) are just flawed images that are banal
- All old images look the way the instagram tells us they look - Since the earliest days of permanent photographs and photograms there have been master artists creating images that are still technically proficient even judging by today’s standards. Ever see an 1860’s British albumen print from any of their era’s best? They are as well composed, exposed, and printed as any modern photograph - analog or digital.
- The aesthetics of older, instant images are a captivating and interesting way of expressing an idea in an image -
- Approximating errors from various alternative processes adds meaningful content to an already ”finished” image- I’d like to argue that the honesty in not dressing up your photographs in the artistically-equivalent of a thrift-store sweater speaks more for itself than the results of the latter. Let it be of its own time, please.
If you need to add layers of bullshit to make your photographs interesting, what you’re really hiding is an image lacking of meaningful content. Got meaningful content? Don’t instagram it. Let it utilize the vernacular of its process and speak for what it is, rather than for what it is pretending to be.