notwinstagram is an executed art project which is based on the bachelor thesis and scientific research on the digital recreation of an individuals identity in the social web. The studies focused on subjects such as visual communication of an identity through the image, democratization of photography as an activity between social practice and artificial craft and finally the psychological aftereffects of being exposed to visual contents.
For that, the study was applied on the well known social media plattform Instagram and included image research processes and categorizations of images people use to expose their life online. One of the results of these studies was that there is nearly no negative emotion in the world of social media and especially on the certain platform of Instagram. The result of this is a digital space where everyone presents himself the best he or she is able to and so creates a world of pure success, rainbows and everlasting relationships, whether staged or not, which is driven by envy and narcissism.
These findings were used as the base for an art project that tries to reveal the exact opposite by creating the identity of an anti-social, unlucky, poor person through images. These images use the same stereotypical props, perspectives and compositional elements as the image categories that resulted from the studies, but showing something actually bad, thus photographic well executed. The final outcome is a series of contrary, sarcastic images that play with the behaviors of a society where everyone is a photographer and lives a beautiful life - online.
I'm excusing in advance for the following texts being written in german.
If you're interested in a certain point or image, don't hestitate to ask me!
If you are interested in the full thesis, feel free to read it HERE (It is written in german language)
As you can see above, the images were then put into layouts of staged Instagram posts to add specific comments and captions that underline the intention of the certain image or play with social criticism. This way, I was able to put the images into a context and make it easy for people and recipients to see where I intended to go. For a sum up, here's a direct comparison of what people pretend to be in their daily life and what it would look like in the life of a unlucky, poor, average motherfucker.
After all images were shot, I created art prints on canvases for a final exhibition in a pop-up gallery (which used to be a room in my university). The exhibition lasted for no longer than 5 hours to stress the fast pace and loss of value of imagery on the internet and especially in using it for communicating your identity online. The preparation of the galery took me a lot longer and required help of my friends to cover the walls in picture patterns.
As one important point of my thesis was the fact that an image that you see on social media is always the result of a progress, whether meaning preparation of a shot itself, taking multiple attempts to achieve the best shot, or - to take it a step further - if you have an image of a person laying on the beach on vacation, it also means that the person has worked to earn the money to go on that vacation. But the fact that you only see a final result (the best moments/sides) of a persons life which is compared in your own reference system, which also includes the process behind this final result, might make you feel awkward or uncertain.
So, an important point for me was to show the process behind the images. I did this with a series of 6 videos that show the making-of and how the images were created.