Reading response C

“Vacuuming and Digesting,” a fall conversation series at Yale about interactive design


Laurel: But at the same time, I can imagine myself as a teenager using Tumblr or something (although maybe even now Tumblr is dated) and doing something super naïve like that. I think there's some value in letting go of your images, or work, to an extent. For the people who are really dedicated, hopefully there will be a dedicated archive or book someday in addition to the image stripped of all context. It's important to have layers to be accessible.

I was reading a really cheesy self-help book like six months ago about social media. It said, "give it up for a month. Don't delete your account or anything. And then, after the month, if you want to go back you can- just know the reason you decided to return." With Instagram for instance, I said to myself, "It's really annoying in some ways, but it's valuable to know what's up." Because I follow so many users I value, I get to see the overall zeitgeist-what's in the air. It's the periphery, and seeing it in bulk and zooming past you gives it value. It's good to be in touch with the periphery.

Lauren: Instagram gives me a lot of anxiety now - it's not even vaguely fun anymore. I began using Instagram to post photos I took, but now it's slowly transformed into some sort of artist PR page, where I post work updates or announce events. I feel pressured to always 'like' posts made by professional art contacts. The app now feels more like a social maintenance platform than anything else really. Although I often don't want to participate at all, I feel like deleting my account could be a detriment to my career. I have had made several professional contacts from Instagram, and I think that deleting my account would disable future connections, and ultimately hurt my career. Having an Instagram as an artist feels as essential as having an Instagram as a gallery, perhaps. To "unplug" seems like a beautiful thing, but often doesn't feel like the smartest decision for a young artist, as it can be potentially self-harming to their career.