Iphoneography, Instagram and Rear-view Mirrorism

When I first laid my eyes on Iphone generated imagery replete with ‘Instagrammatic’ filters, I could not help but think of ‘Mcluhanesque’ strains of determinism as made well known by his thought from 1967: “we look at the present through a rear-view mirror, we march backwards into the future”. Iphonegraphy and Instagrams’ wistful longing for time past, as made clear by their rabid recall, or should I say redial, of Polaroid and Kodak Instamatic aspect ratios, colour and exposure sensibilities, coupled with an even more peculiar recall adherence of wanting to be ‘painterly’, made me reflect on the rear view metaphor as not being concerned with just the immediate past, but also to deepen the metaphor to be inclusive of the distant past as well. It could also be reflective of the complex (and stressful) weave of the immediate, where we could seek to find firmer ground, by engaging with the comforting known rather than the frightening not-known. The examples here are from the Los Angeles Mobile Arts Festival. Take a look.

Federica Corbelli: ‘There was silence in the Summer Light’

Cindy Patrick: ‘Water was My Strange Flower’

Tracy J Thomas: ‘Illuminati’

Alan Kastner: ‘Intermediate Frequency’

Sara Tune.

Jack Corin Crag: ‘Heavcoat’

Janine Graf: ‘Koi’

Elodie Hunting: ‘If She Would Be’

Jamie Stewart: ‘The Pasha of Novi Pazar – 5×7 – aluminum’

Nico Bronz: ‘Ballerina’

Natali Prosveta: ‘God Has Given You One Face and You Make Yourself Another’

Karen Divine: ‘Nude’

Allan Barnes: Nicki Flower

Rad Drew: Yellow Room, Front Hill Castle

Paul Gardener

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11 Comments on "Iphoneography, Instagram and Rear-view Mirrorism"

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T Schoening

Some of them are soooo evocative, as long as it works for me, its ok, not bothered about the fact that it is a camera phone…


Personally I find all the attempts at photos wanting to look like paintings pointless.


i dont like the icraze. period.


Very creative work. But its much about software effects than anything else. IMHO

J Manckewicz

I’m can’t say I’m a novice photographer, since I’ve been taking photos for about a year, but all of that time has been with an iPhone. Now you may laugh, but I’ve raked up quite a following on Instagram, and I’ve got a passion for photography. And I do think these iPhone photographs are fantastic. A photo need not always look like a photo. Thats the whole point..


Nico Bronz: ‘Ballerina’ and Federica Corbelli: ‘There was silence in the Summer Light’. Superlike!


hmm never quite thought of the rear view mirror in terms of the iphone and instagram. maybe you have a point there, or maybe not.

R Kishore

these are quite lovely, and all this debate about whether iphone photography is photography is nonsense..! Just grab any camera/phone and start shooting people, instead of debating.

oleg k

aah did not know there is actually an iphonegraphy art festival..how primitive of me! ty for sharing.


Apps. the more I see them, the more I hate them…not taking anything away from the artists, but when the app does most of the work, what role does the artist have? Push a button?


nice clicks and collection…ty