INSTAFOOD: CLASSYFYING THE FOOD POSTER


First of all: I plead guilty. The evidence is clear.
from the prank of ringing of a neighbor�s doorbell
to my first cigarette, isn�t it always this way?
Once one is assimilated into a larger group, selfreflection
vanishes at the cost of self-assertion.
It�s the same with Instagram. I feel at home with
all these images of food. Strictly speaking, the
images with #food posted on the social photo
site increases at a rate of millions. There aren�t
even that many pictures of feet! Under #food: the
McDonald�s maxi menu next to images of cake stands
piled with sugary sweet macaroons, or schnitzel and
fries and � Oh! Hello� a bare male torso. Someone
obviously knows how to entice women. It�s not for
nothing that the tag #foodporn is synonymous
with Instagram.









































(Read the entire article after the jump)





It�s the same on Facebook. Since the world has
denounced the elaborate rights of use, status
messages like �Still recovering from last night,�
are just as fleeting as the memories of the previous
evenings debauchery. In this light an image of
one�s lunch comes across as non-committal. Face
detection is impossible! Only Twitter is lagging.
Packing food into 140 characters should be left to
the writers of cookbooks. All the same, Instagram
makes it clear: it�s no longer �my house, my car, my
boat.� Rather �my sandwich, my steak, my favorite
experimental restaurant.� Edo, ergo sum. I eat,
therefore I am. As to the intentions behind all this,
one can only speculate. After all, you can�t throw
every Instagram user into the same pot.
There are, for example, the images from �bestie� top
models Karlie Kloss and Toni Garrn. On Instagram
they post not only backstage pictures from photo
shoots, but also images of their food. If you�re
thinking of cotton balls soaked in orange juice
or veggie sticks, you�re wrong. On the image menus
of Miss Kloss and Miss Garrn are chocolate chip
cookies and pancakes with sausages. In this case the
food images on Instagram almost cause a cognitive
dissonance in the viewer. Those that see themselves
as elite restaurant testers are another kind �
no matter what image they post, it�s clear that
they�re at the place to be. Who needs Yelp when the
information is nicely filtered and freshly served via
the iPhone? Ambitious jetsetters are much the same.
Their images range from the fairly tradition photos
of the best pizza in Naples and tacos in Tijuana to
frog legs in Cambodia, Kokore� in Turkey, and Kitfo
in Ethiopia � culinary discoveries that even Andrew
Zimmerman from �Bizarre Foods� might not get
behind, and certainly not average-Joe food posters.
Of course, one has to take into the account the
exorbitant competition that is taking place here
� that is, coming up with something better than
a boiled egg with caviar, a masterfully arranged
fruit plate, or, yawn, an avocado sandwich. #vegan
It�s not only top chefs like Jamie Oliver who are
posting prolific numbers of food pics, the number
of food semi-professionals on Instagram make it
a source of inspiration. Many run blogs parallel
to their Instagram imagery, where they promote
their ambitious edible creations ranging from
neon layered cake to bacon shakes. This turns the
followers on Instagram into a focus group. The
images they like appear later in detailed blog posts,
with the 18 filters of Instagram functioning as a
replacement for Photoshop. A circle to which � as I
already confessed � I truculently count myself. It�s
a little like in the past, when one would tag a public
toilet or electrical boxes on the side of the street
with a permanent marker. 
My hashtags: #veggieway.
Happy #foodday!

PHOTOGRAPHY: Christiane B�rdner 









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