Did you ever scroll through Instagram and get a nagging sense of deja vu? There is a reason why. Insta Repeat is an account dedicated to highlighting the ‘visual sameness’ of many Instagram pics, tracking the ‘trends’ of influencers who see where the likes are and follow along to the same places, and strike the same poses.
An anonymous 27-year-old from Anchorage, Alaska, is the brains behind the account. The filmmaker and artist told Photoshelter that “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.”
Living in Alaska, a huge wilderness where so many ‘adventurers’ come to explore, she was struck by how the same few places and scenarios kept showing up again and again on her feed.
“I have noticed it in general on a lot of different platforms and media and have been guilty of it myself for sure,” she told Bored Panda. “Artists and creators fall into patterns. But I think that what is happening on Instagram is more extreme.”
She seems to enjoy the irony behind these images, often tagged with trendy slogans about ‘authenticity’ and ‘creative living,’ when contrasted with almost identical photos of other people claiming much the same things. Turns out that while many people may believe that they are pretty special, they are, knowingly or not, following a generic formula that has been laid out and done countless times before.
“I chose the outdoorsy type to focus on because I see it a lot because of where I live but more importantly because I think think the “genre” celebrates a “free” and “authentic” lifestyle that is antithetical to the sameness of all the photos.”
It’s certainly a fascinating idea, and one that exposes some truths about the influencer ‘game’ that is being played out. She has attracted some negativity for this but she says the page is not meant to criticize or belittle anyone. “I am interested in exploring the choice to make an image that has, in essence, already been made.”
“The most amazing thing that has happened since starting the account is people engaging in critical debate on originality and the creation of media. There are some really in-depth discussions going on in the comment threads.”