Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The "Real Life Instagram"


The first thing I noticed when coming across this post on The “Real” World flipbook was their link was in itself already reposted in a blog from an article on a website called design-milk. So as the concepts of reality and simulation flow through my veins, I wondered how many copies of the original artwork had already been reposted and simulated throughout the world. Aggregated news can sometimes be overwhelming when searching out proper documentation and attributing the correct author. At that point, I also realized that the ownership of Instagram images become the sole property of the ruthless tech start-up, rendering the real ownership away from the original London artist, Bruno Ribeiro. I eventually found his website hosted by the all-powerful corporate copyright baron and photo sharing king.
Once I had clicked out of the hack that had simply copy and pasted much of the original I decided to become one myself and explore Ribeiro’s master plan. I became immersed within his concept that transcends the digital age my generation has unfortunately become entombed. Instagram an interesting social media outlet where friends share photographs of nice meals college students can’t afford, cute dogs only suitable as accessories for Beverly Hills soccer moms and naturalistic adventures that for the most part are unrecognizable as significant from the cropping and editing users tend to spice up the documentation of their lives.

Ribeiro's website is titled “Real Life Instagram.” He used hardboard cutouts to create the borders Instagram users are familiar with including #hashtags and users that “liked” the frame. Most even included filters reminiscent of the trivial photography skills the digital generation employ. From there he took these cutouts and placed them around the city making a statement about the redundancy of instagram I described in the previous paragraph. In the collection of photographs Ribeiro takes photographs of people taking in the “Real Life Instagram” image through the frame he created, some even instagramming the “Real life Instagrams.” This allowed for deeper analysis of what constitutes the art of his project. Is the art the act of creating an Instagram of a “Real life Instagram” of a real life location?


I believe the art still reverts back to Ribeiro, who was able to make people stop and admire his artwork and then repost such a clever idea as a photo within a frame of a real location. He is successfully making other people take pictures of what he has deemed art and having them listen to #hashtags such as #tagme, #repostme, #reallifeinstagram. 

Ribeiro's artistic endeavor transcends not only technology, but also can be used to explain some of the notions french philosopher Jean Baudrillard describes in Simulation and Simulacra. An instagram photo taken in the location becomes the first Order of simulation, a representation of the physical location uploaded to an internet database. The photo of a simulated instagram frame created by Ribeiro becomes the second order of Simulacra, where the photograph of the original becomes skewed and the reality of the representation is unclear: the photo of the instagram frame becomes a representation of a representation. Can the photograph of passerby's be considered art or are they simply taking away a representation of a digital phenomenon that has appeared to pop straight out from behind a screen and into a physical realm where humanity resides? What does this say about the actual frames; have they become more "real" than the photographs reposted around the world on the website Instagram? Many interesting sentiments arise.

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post. I am always intrigued when I come across an examples of this. Ribeiro seems more real because his cardboard cutouts are tangible; however, it is just a simulation of something that already exists. I suppose it seems more real because we tend to shy away from granting validity to technological constructs, because we cannot touch them or hold them - they are in the clouds.

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