Urban space has increasingly become a stage for photographic self-performance. Whether it’s the hip restaurant, the new bar, the city park, an intriguing building, a work of art in public space, the train station or the shopping centre: these and many other localities serve as backgrounds for online self-presentation. The so-called “instagrammability” of locations attracts ever increasing crowds, becoming sites of exploitation for the tourism industry. Profiles such as @insta_repeat playfully expose the standardisation of visual language and the adaptation of forms of representation by collecting repetitive motifs. The sunflower farm in Ontario which banned digital pilgrims from visiting as a result of the masses trampling through its fields is just one example that demonstrates how the search for the perfect selfie can reach obsessive dimensions.
In the “Urban Upload” workshop, students of F+F Zurich were guided through Winterthur’s urban space – physically and virtually – by the instructors Laura Hadorn and Eva Schuler. Places that are often tagged or localised/marked on Instagram were analysed in terms of their presentation on Instagram (if available), how they are photographed by the visitors and how these stage themselves in or through this space. The participants of the workshop were invited to employ strategies such as imitation, parody or juxtaposition and re-contextualise their new images with hashtags. Current visual phenomena, mechanisms of social media and one’s own interaction with platforms such as Snapchat or Instagram were analysed and discussed as part of the workshop.
More by Laura Hadorn: laurahadorn.ch
More by Eva Schuler: evaschuler.ch
A cooperation with F+F Zurich.