I’ve never really owned a cell phone. Sure, way back when, I had a
Motorola Razr, used it sporadically, left it in my car, someone broke
into my car, stole the phone. It took me 3 months to realize it was
missing so I figured I didn’t really need or want one, never replaced it.
Now, 5 or 6 years later I’m the owner of an brand new iPhone. Bought
to do the Instagram thing.
Walking the dogs. My first Instagram post. (All images from my Instagram feed.)
I’m pondering, from a newcomers perspective, just what Instagram
is. What follows will be old news to seasoned IG practitioners, so
feel free to skip it . . . .
First of all, I had no idea what IG was about. I mean, I knew that it
was image-based social media, you can only (mostly) do it from a
smart phone and that it has quite a number of adherents. But that’s
as far as my knowledge went.
Inverted foto of Polaroid 665 negative. Ray Zahab, Canadian extreme runner.
My initial thought about doing an IG feed was to use it to show an
actual project, one just for IG (maybe bumped over to Fb). But the
images show up way too small for that, and they’re too fleeting. No,
this is not a platform (as far as I can see) on which to unroll anything
Instagram does seem, though, a swell platform on which to throw
up ephemera. And we all know how collections of memorabilia can
become, well, something.
Mom and dad, selfie. 1949.
All collections define the person who aggregates them. It’s just that
some of those definitions seem smarter, more worthwhile, than others.
Of course, what floats my boat may very well leave yours beached, and,
it goes without saying, vice versa. In this, IG is a lot likeTwitter and a bit
like Facebook. My predilections on all these platforms veer more towards
personal truth-telling (whatever that is or may mean), and I tend to get
pissed off at suburban high-jinks/concerns, banter and gossip (not that
I don’t love gossip. Who doesn’t?)
So far, I’ve realized that, for me, IG is not the place to “do a project”. The
first few days I was shooting with the iPhone, I spent some time mimicking
what I do with my other cameras (tools) and my usual (as far as that goes)
approach. Didn’t work.
I also decided to not use it to “showcase” work I’ve done with other cameras,
for other projects. Some folks do, but that’s too easy and kind of counter to
what the platform seems to want. (Though, of course, anyone can use any
platform as they see fit. See above.)
Instead I think I’ll just roll with it as a repository of ephemera. Make of it what
Follow me here: XXXX