Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Are you making art in Instagram?

by User Not Found | Oct 18, 2012
When National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West opens at the Eiteljorg on Oct. 27, you'll be treated to 125 years of work by some of America's greatest photographers. The men and women who used to rely on careful use of Autochrome plates to manipulate color in the early 20th century would no doubt be shocked at what modern shutter bugs can do with just an iPhone and an Instagram app. Suddenly, you don't need an old, plastic Holga camera to create the interesting shadows caused by light leakage. Use the Hipstamatic app. Done.

Today, everyone can be a photographer...of sorts. Go to a rock concert and the glow of iPhone and Android screens is as ubiquitous as Bic lighters were in 1975. Our lives are obsessively documented through phones; cropped, skewed and given a vintage cast through editing; and then shared on social media. 

But does our new-found love of documenting and curating our lives mean we're missing actually living them? Do these new technological shortcuts amount to photographic cheating? Can the product of a hipster-held Smartphone be considered art?

Last year the Orange Dot Gallery in London hosted an exhibition of Hipstamatic photos. And, this week, journalist and multimedia producer Richard Koci Hernandez created a video essay (below) and CNN article endorsing the state of modern photography. 

What do you think?


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