In the case of Instagram I was not an early adopter. Or even a late adopter. In fact it’s only been a few weeks since I got started.
I was inspired to get into it while watching Matt Spicer’s Ingrid Goes West (Elizabeth Olsen image above, Aubrey Plaza below). Is this the first Instagram movie? If you haven’t seen it, you should. Not only because it has some nice – and chilling – insights into influencers and their followers, but also because Elizabeth Olsen and Aubrey Plaza. And a lovely performance from O’Shea Jackson Jr.
#perfection #thebest #blessed #influencers #imaphotographer #exaggeration #jealousy #overthetop #loveit
Okay okay. Ingrid is not really what got me ‘gramming. But I did see the film and it provoked this piece.
In truth a very smart woman – a big time ad agency social media exec – told me I was nuts to not be including IG as part of my “brand presence.” #pollockspark “But I’m all about words” I said “and IG is about images.” “Oh come” on she said “thousands of people put words on their page.” Which I discovered to be true – sad but true. I briefly stepped into a world of inspirational nonsense quotes: like these:
Do not judge my story by the chapter you walked in on
Just be who you want to be not what others want to see
Your phone’s screen is brighter than your future. But that’s none of my business.
I was not going that route. Sorry to disappoint.
So she said, “You travel – put some travel photos up, people love travel photos.” Hmm. It might be good to feel that one or two of those thousands of images festering on my hard drive could see the light of day. (I’m not going to be sharing my goals and tactics here. #noneofyourbusiness. I’m just telling you what went down.)
So a few weeks ago @pollockspark launched its Instagram with some random holiday snaps. And then some shots around my Williamsburg neighborhood. And goodness if people didn’t like them and follow me and whatnot. Some of these Likers aren’t even in Russia. And some of them may even be real people. Anyway I post another one every few days #whatsthepoint I’ve been accused of “just spewing images.” Very well then, but I do get a small amount of pleasure from writing the little captions. But there’s more!
I also have a massive trove of photos of the changing skyline outside my office. The foreground view is changing from a calm sea of low-rise empty factory buildings into a tsunami of much higher rise hotels. Yes hotels. Four of them have just risen into the sky within two blocks. And I have been taking pictures – of the holes in the ground, the pouring of concrete, the lunch cart ritual, the massive cranes and swinging steel beams. All of these constructions peaking at the top-off flag of whichever country the construction crew was representing.
Inspired by watching paint dry or grass grow, I started editing a video from these stills, cutting to songs that made me smile. The first bit was The Who singing I can see for miles and miles. A David Byrne version of Don’t Fence me In. Wilson Picket singing Higher and Higher and so on. Get it? But who cares and it was a lot of work. And I couldn’t post these copyrighted songs anyway.
A photographer I met at a Brooklyn Heights deck party suggested I trickle these images out on Instagram. So I am doing just that. A couple of weeks after @pollockspark was born, saw the quiet launch of @williamsburgskyline
More following and likes ensued. More hashtags. So far the “narrative” has reached the summer of 2014 and there are many hundreds of tiny incremental changes to come before we reach peak Williamsburg hotel zone.
I would #loveit if you’d join the crowd and follow one or both of these accounts. They’re not about creative careers – so quite different from pollockspark on Facebook and Twitter etc. And if you catch me posting inspirational slogans – promise me you will unfollow at once.
So my toe is in the Instagram water. And you know what? There are significant increases in hits on my other web profiles. #waddyaknow
PS For Ingrid fans you’ll be relieved to know that so far I am not frantically hitting refresh refresh refresh hoping for a follow from @taylorsloane. But I would take one from @elizabetholsenofficial and I promise I’d follow back even though it’s not a person.