Instagram, the social photo-sharing application, released a new feature in 2016 called Instagram Stories. This was a response to the popular application called SnapChat at the time. The basic idea was that you could create a channel through your profile where you could share fifteen-second videos or photos, and add a variety of fun filters or text overlays. These posts could be viewed by your followers or from your profile for only twenty-four hours after posting. This new instant feature was counter to the original concept of Instagram which was more curated and intentional. By going into my account profile I was able to view an archive of my Stories going back to the very first one. When Instagram first unveiled this feature they gave the idea that when the Stories disappeared they were gone forever. Meanwhile, without my awareness, they kept a detailed archive that was available for me to access within my account. My social insecurities, enjoyment, interests, and moodiness can be analyzed from my digital trail of archived stories. If my Instagram Stories were spontaneous then they could be a more honest reflection into the intricate workings of my private self. I thought it might be interesting to see if I could analyze the Stories from this time period because they are more personal than a public post. One year of Instagram stories were printed resulting in over six hundred copies made with a Risograph. In previous iterations when the information was taken from being physical to digital and back again there was a feeling of ownership that was gained from the final step. The mass production aspect changed that. Instead of a feeling of ownership I began to question their uniqueness. They became less precious and more like clutter. By packaging them into faraday safe wrappers and unmarked black boxes the iteration became a joke on itself. The hint that there was something valuable inside would only lead to disappointment when the viewer realizes there are a series of low-budget cards displaying an impulsive and exhibitionist moment from my past. This leads to a question of the value of our archived data collection.
Risographed paper, aluminum foil, and chipboard