• 11.01.13

“Real Life Instagram” Renders Your Smartphone Redundant

Artist Bruno Ribeiro put up cardboard cut-outs near some of London’s more photogenic vistas, with colored filters and a mock-up of the Instagram interface.

In a way, Instagram has gamified users’ very vision. It’s transformed the act of going about one’s day-to-day life into a contest to determine which sights the most people will appreciate. The result is that some folks (full disclosure: this includes yours truly) go through life digesting every landscape, pedestrian, and piece of signage, with an eye for how it will look on Instagram. Now, one artist has taken the guesswork out of the equation.


“Real-Life Instagram” is an interactive art project that plays with the public’s current preoccupation with finding snap-worthy scenery. Created by London-based artist Bruno Ribeiro, “Real-Life” entails cardboard cut-outs scattered around the artist’s city, made to mimic the user interface of the photo-sharing monolith. Ribeiro has matched the font and format of the app, and also, most crucially, added a layer of colored plastic over the cut-out section of the cardboard, to mimic the multitude of presentation options that Instagram offers. No smartphone is required.

Despite the fact that it might seem at first glance to support Instagram, the message of this project comes across loud and clear: life is best enjoyed with #nofilter. Have a look at some of the installations in the slides above.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.