On my phone, Instagram is a series of squares and rectangles with pictures of babies, clogs, books, lakes and buildings, buildings and more buildings. But when I read or hear about Instagram, none of these — except for babies — seem to exist on the app.
In trend stories and anxious conversations, the focus is almost always on commercial influencers and sponsored content, how the rise of the Instagram-friendly museum is cheapening our experience of art, or how Instagram’s gaze is making us worry about keeping our bodies and our houses in picture-perfect condition. But that’s not all Instagram can be.
Of course, I realize I’m a special case in some ways — I’m an architecture and design critic. Buildings are my life. But it isn’t that unusual to try to find and follow the tranche of people who love what you love. If you’re in the visual arts, they are probably on Instagram.