Sunday, September 1, 2013

Instagram's Failure

I've argued in the past that instagram and its friends are having a positive effect on.. something. One-touch art-ification software has the potential to alter the perception of a photograph from a record to a piece of art. Not necessarily good art, just not a record any more. An instagram user begins to see a picture as an artistic expression, not merely a picture of a plate of sushi.

Similarly, plugins, add-ons, and various bits of software that will make your picture look like an oil painting, or a pencil sketch, or an etching, whatever. These all have, potentially, the same perception altering effect.

What is lacking is any kind of next step. I apply a Wingo effect to my picture of my cat. The scales drop from me eyes as it were, and I begin to grasp the idea of photography as art. What do I do now? How can I do more of this? Quite briskly I will see that the Wingo effect is trite and overdone. Perhaps I move on to some other effect, but the whole thing will dry up shortly. What is the point of it all? Either I am permanently trapped in a cycle of ultimately cheesy effects, or I bore of the whole thing and the scales return to my eyes.

There is no ArtHistoryGram app for my phone that can lead me anywhere interesting.

This is in part because any reasonable next steps are hard. As I have noted over and over and over and over again, there is no royal road to Art. There is no one-click app for strong composition. Quick Tips will only go so far. However, the makers of the various "make this artsy in one click" software have abdicated any responsibility to lead their users anywhere. They provide no easy next step, however small, except perhaps in the form of an advertisement for some other one click software, or perhaps a sketchy educational establishment which will, for a fee, fill you up with Quick Tips gleaned from various web sites filled with Quick Tips gleaned from other web sites.

I have no particular solution. It does seem unfair to give people a taste of art without then offering them, if not a full meal, at least a snack.

No comments:

Post a Comment