The wonderful world of the internet is filled with gems like the latest Instagram account Insta Repeat.
The Instagram account exposes the similarities between photos being posted on the social network. With the bio description "déjà vu vibes; wander. roam. replicate.", the account has uploaded 81 compilations of unique travel photos that shines a light on the damaging effects the democratisation of photography has had on originality.
Insta Repeat posts collages that are made up of photos by unrelated photographers that look remarkably similar. These images pose questions about the authenticity of the travel blogs and accounts they are poached from whilst shining a light on the power of visual trends and their sources.
With the worldwide Instagram influencer market value projected to reach 2.38 billion US dollars in 2019, and our feeds dictated by an algorithm that favours 'relevant' content and, with the advent of smartphone camera technology, it is so easy to replicate the same aesthetically pleasing image.
It appears to come across as the new-age of copycatting, which is just displaying that every opportunity that people come across to take an image like this, can now make them an 'expert photographer'. The digital film rolls are replaced by the souvenirs from our trips are offered to friends and loved ones (or random people who follow us) in very carefully chosen bow, taken with a specific filter in mind or edited using a third-party app depending on your preferences.
Basically, the point is that even if these images have been lifted from or 'inspired by' someone else's posts before you, they are no different to the masses of people who – for years have travelled – to stand in front of iconic landmarks like the Big Ben, The Statue of Liberty, or even The Great Wall of China to take a picture of themselves.
Perhaps this is the reason why Insta Repeat does not position itself as the sort of name and shame account you might find in the likes of Diet Prada. According to online reports, the account is the clever work of a 27-year-old artist and filmmaker from Anchorage, Alaska, who has chosen to remain anonymous:
"There is a lot of mimicries everywhere in media, not just on Instagram," the user behind @insta_repeat tells Photoshelter. "A purpose of insta_repeat is to critique originality in media creation through the lens (pun intended) of this one 'genre' of Instagram photography accounts."
Instead, as we continue to increase in our consumption of visual stimulants, it holds a mirror up to a culture embedded in media simulacrum, with a particular focus on Instagram's travelling elite whose experiences are shortchanged by an evaluation that looks no further than a carefully crafted snap or two.
The Insta repeat account it sparking discussions, laughs and even positive feedback from some of the featured influencers. Scroll down to check some of the images out, the rest can be seen on the Insta Repeat account.
*all images courtesy of @insta_repeat