Instagram Problems

Whenever you read an article about Instagram you encounter the same set of clichés. I think they are propagated by people who don’t use Instagram, or barely use it—people who don’t really like or understand social media in general.

I’ll list the clichés. You’ll recognize them:

Instagram is nostalgic. Instagram is a wistful and futile resuscitation of photographic tools from the past. It’s retro. Instagram is banal—it’s just people taking pictures of the same things again and again: food, pets, vacation spots, etc. Instagram is fake.

These clichés are fully displayed in a couple of articles that the New Inquiry has published over the last year: Teju Cole’s “Dappled Things” and Matt Pearce’s “Shoot Hip or Die.”

Let’s start with Cole. He’s writing about Gueorgui Pinkhassov, a Russian photographer who lives in France and has an Instagram account. Cole likes Pinkhassov’s Instagram because it’s a rare account that meets his…

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World Wide Web Conference 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ägypten, Sakkara, Stufenpyramide (Photo…

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World Wide Web Conference 1

World Wide Web Conference 1 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ägypten, Sakkara, Stufenpyramide

Ägypten, Sakkara, Stufenpyramide (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

• The growth of the World Wide Web has led to a new profession–that of the Information Architect. These specialists aim to build Web sites that are more clearly understood and more easily navigated by human users.
• While this metaphor seems to be providing a valuable model for building better Web sites, what are the elements mapped by this metaphor from the domain of architecture to the domain of Web design?
• Specifically, do we really communicate through architecture?
• And if we do communicate through architecture, what is the nature of that communication?
• There are a number of possible communication theories that can shed light on the nature of communication through architecture.

However, I believe these are inadequate to capture the complete nature of architecture. I believe that our understanding of architecture is itself a metaphorical understanding, and it would be most fruitful if we recognized it as such.