Collage based on Intravel photos – A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience, by Oliver KMIA.
Delete your Instagram account this summer. Go back to the office after the holidays without your workmates knowing if you’ve seen a sunset or been sailing on a yacht. Above all, don’t provide any information about your beachside paella, or where you went jogging or what music you listened to.
Because when the post-millennial mindset plumbs the non-conformist depths of the most radical postmodernity, it’s no longer mainstream to be an Instagrammer. Every summer, tourists queue up for hours at the trendiest hotspots to get the perfect snap to upload on their smartphones and blitz their social media channels. We spend hours (as Apple reminds us with its “Screen Time”) adding filters to buy happiness in exchange for Likes, as if it were an episode of Black Mirror.
We look at the same photos over and over again (please spare 2:13 minutes to watch this video1), and although Instagram is experimenting with not showing Likes in some countries, the fever of popularity still spreads faster than the hashtags we post: at a speed that gets even faster with Stories, the latest craze among the #InstagramGeneration, which provides real time commentaries on every bite, every rooftop and every skyline as if it were broadcasting a football match on the radio.
But what role does architecture play in the Cloud? In most cases, it serves as a backdrop in support of a narrative, and it’s anabolised by @users capable of putting a mirror beneath the iPhone to create a virtual reality2 which devours places and buildings just as fast as you can click on Stories or Like.
Network speeds are now a direct enemy of architecture. “Hey Mr. Architect, how long does your building take?” That question, asked in the most authentic Buckminster Fuller style, is intended not to elicit a “5,619 tonnes”-type answer, but to highlight how different the time scales are in architecture and social networks. Architecture has become obsolete, slow and too physical, too real. It’s been pushed into the background for not being able to satisfy the voracious hunger of the social networks: one, two, five years of design/construction condensed into images which are old news within 24 hours.
But the keen eye of the professional architect, a species which seemed to have died and been replaced by the @user, is now missed as people begin to feel nostalgia for the serene absence of speed. And that, dear architect, is why this summer you should delete your Instagram account and not post photos of your building. Being an Instagrammer is no longer mainstream. It’s time now to be discreet, to avoid Instagrammable places and to return to the physical world, the world of paper. Go back to the office armed with topics for conversation for the coffee break. Explain where you went without anyone saying “Yes, I saw it in your Stories”.
Notas de página
Instravel – A Photogenic Mass Tourism Experience by Oliver KMIA VIDEO
“Turismo de postureo: horas de cola para hacerse una foto trucada en un templo de Bali” (“Poser Tourism: Hours Queueing to Take a Trick Selfie at a Temple in Bali”) VIDEO
Arquitecto por la Escuela de Arquitectura de la UAH, 2015, y Máster en Proyectos Arquitectónicos Avanzados por la ETSAM, 2016. Arquitecto en Foster+Partners desde 2016, donde accede tras ganar la Beca Arquia 2015. También realiza la Beca Santander 2013 en METALOCUS y colabora con José Juan Barba Arquitectos y José María Sánchez García.
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