Amalia Ulman: Feel Like You Need More Instagram Followers?
Do you ever look at your social media following and feel a bit rubbish? That some people out there have millions of followers and you're lucky you reached 50? Do you ever feel like you need more instagram followers? Or twitter followers? Or just followers in general?
Let me introduce you to Amalia Ulman, my new favourite artist who has used Instagram in an absolutely brilliant way to highlight how we interact with social media. Ulman ultimately shows that if you follow a prescribed formula, you too could end up with thousands of instagram followers, twitter followers, stalkers.
For many privileged users, social media is a way of selling one’s lifestyle, of building one’s brand. And Ulman went to great lengths to replicate the narrative conventions of these privileged feeds, from her use of captions and hashtags (#simple, #cutegasm), to the pace and timing of uploads, to the discerning inclusion of “authentic” intimate or emotional content (a photo of a lover or a moment of despair).
This isn't to say that those with lots of social media followers do not deserve them or haven't earned them. It means that those with a large following know the formula for their lifestyle. Ulman shows her intelligence of these formulas and puts them into play. Ulman shows that quite a lot of us are attracted to that life of beauty, of pale washes and fresh flowers. Of healthy eating and a really good looking bum.
Performance art always brings so many conversations, and that's brilliant. Both Tehching Hsieh and Santiago Sierra use performance art to bring about conversations and Ulman is doing this too, for those of us that have grown up surrounded by social media. As a 25 year old female, social media has almost been ingrained into my life, at times when I too have deleted facebook, people have questioned why. As a blogger we're expected to have a facebook page, a twitter, a linkedin, a pinterest, a tumblr, an instagram, bloglovin, feedly, etcetc etc. It's not surprising sometimes it all seems a little overwhelming.
Ulman's performance also allows us to feel better about our own social media followers, that when we learn the prescribed formula for our niche we too shall have thousands of followers. The artwork also allows us to peek at that revered ground where all the social media experts live. The social media experts that know the formula you need. Which is all sounding like it could make quite a good James Bond film.
For more on Amalia Ulman and her instagram performance, which is titled Excellences and Perfections take a look on NewMuseum.org and The Fader. There is also an archive of the instagram account on Rhizome, including a very interesting article of Amalia Ulman in conversation with Rob Horning.
And not even the knife... the new regime for the adaptabilities of the flesh is a system of pills, injections, fillers, gels, liquids, transfers. A system of semi-transparent manipulations to resemble our photoshopped selves better, more naturally, to be "genuinely" better looking, for the sake of #nofilter.
Amalia Ulman: Rhizome.org
Amalia Ulman discusses through her use of art, what many bloggers who are just beginning want to know, Ulman shows how to be popular, how to gain followers in a niche. Ulman shows how to succeed. And that's inspiring.