- There’s a repetitive „Instagram aesthetic“ used by a lot of people on the platform.
- One account, Insta Repeat, collects similar images and turns them into collages.
- You can find dozens of photos of the same cliff in Norway, or geological formation in Arizona, for example.
- Some followers believe it reveals how manufactured the aesthetic really is.
- The account now has 80,000 followers, and the person behind it said it’s sparked a discussion about the art of Instagram.
If you’ve spent some time on Instagram, you’ve probably had a lot of déjà vu.
One Instagram account, Insta Repeat, brings that repetition into sharp focus. The person behind it collects similar images from the same places and edits them together. The resulting collages show a flood of nearly identical photos.
„I find the images ‚by hand,'“ the person behind Insta Repeat told INSIDER in an email. „I follow people who got into this folk, adventure ‚genre‘ then I comb through their profiles and screenshot anything that looks generic. Then I put things together after I dump everything onto the computer.“
Whether you’re in a slot canyon, in a tent, rowing through a lake, on top of a car on a mountain, someone has had that experience before. The account reveals how manufactured those images and experiences on Instagram can sometimes be and brings into question the idea that influencers spontaneously photograph their travels.
The account also features the same type of photos taken in different places, which shows that sometimes the aesthetic isn’t reliant on where people go, but how they communicate their experiences.
There are seven collages alone of people in a tent taking photos of their legs, feet facing the landscape, and another seven of people rowing in a canoe on a glassy lake, five of people dwarfed by waterfalls they’re looking at, three of people on long suspension bridges, and three of small red houses in the winter.
The person behind Insta Repeat, who prefers to remain anonymous so she doesn’t shift the discussion from the project to her personal life, said she began it because she was fascinated by the repetition she encountered while scrolling through the app.
„The concept of originality and the simulacrum is super interesting to me,“ she said. „Replication on Instagram is a good way to explore that. I do have that all in mind when curating this account.“
It’s gained her nearly 80,000 followers so far. And though she tags the people who made the original photos to give them credit, it enrages some of the people she cites. She doesn’t mind.
„Every time someone gets into a fight in the comments section, or someone that I feature that has a ton of followers comments (even when it is negative), I get a boost in followers,“ she told Photo Shelter. „I think it has to do with the Instagram algorithm or something. Anyways, I say keep it coming!“
She also said that she appreciates that her account has sparked discussion about art, and the nature of putting photos on social media platforms like Instagram, which has its own social dynamics — does the person behind the camera genuinely appreciate nature, or are they taking the photo to gain followers?
That’s a question the person behind Insta Repeat wants to leave up to her followers.
„I do want people to make their own interpretations of my compilations,“ she told INSIDER. „One of my favorite things about the popularity boom in this account is the in-depth, critical discussions/debate about originality, what is original and what is art in the comment threads. It’s better than I could have ever asked for.“
Source: Business insider