A Woman Defined

Art & Culture by Mahvash Mossaed

A Muse Called Instagram: My Thoughts on It

September 25, 2013

I wake up from a bad dream. The room is very warm and very dark. I do not know where, who, and what I am. I don’t know whether I am still here in this world or if it could be that I am still in a dream land, floating, falling, and not attached to my own conciousness.

In my dream, someone is chasing me in an empty town. I am wearing high heels and cannot run very fast. My feet hurt badly; my clothes are tight and are almost ripping off of my body and falling apart off of me. Then I see myself, naked, except for my shoes that I cannot manage to take off in order to run faster, so that the person chasing me would not be able to catch me. I am sweating, and my heart is pounding so quickly and so loudly that the whole spooky, silent, vacant town could hear it – boom… boom …boom… – like a loud beating of a drum.  It is semi-dark, semi-misty, and semi-foggy. I am not sure what the hour of the day is or if the sun is just going to come up or if it had just gone down. Some windows are open, and some heads are sticking out with some faces that I had never seen. They are screaming, “Run! Run! Run! Fast! Faster! Faster!” Oh, but I could not run any faster.  Right then and there, I fall flat on my face, and my shoes come off my feet.

That’s when I wake up,  sit right up on my bed, and realize the room is too dark and too hot, and I have been dreaming. I get up, pull my robe on me, and go to my computer. It is still asleep, as I had put it to sleep just before I went to bed. Touching it lightly, the computer is now wide awake, just like me. The room is still dark, except for the lit up Apple logo on the computer. Seeing the apple reminds me that I am hungry. My computer and I are friends. We are very attached to one another, but I hate to be attached to anything or anyone. That can take away my freedom. However, I love my computer, and I sort of need it to keep me informed and connect me to the universe outside of myself.

I get up and walk towards the fridge. I open the fridge’s door, looking for something to eat to make me immediately feel wonderful – something very sweet. I remind myself that tomorrow, I should go get the new iPhone. It just came out, and every one is trying to be the first to have it. Just before I went to sleep, I was watching the news and saw that there was a long line in front of an Apple store. People were waiting to get the new iPhone – hundreds of them, waiting in line for long hours – and police were interfering with some people who got into a fight about some kind of disagreement while waiting in line. I chow on a piece of dried fruit that I found in the fridge and remind myself, “Not tomorrow. There is too much fuss now over this new iPhone. I should wait.”

I come back to where my desktop computer is. It has gone back to sleep. The room is dark. I am just sitting on the chair, staring at the shut-off computer, and thinking to myself, “What would Jane Austen do if she were living in our era?” Then i think, “Yes, she would own a desktop computer, a laptop, an iPad, an iPhone, and an iPod.” I don’t know what the time is, but I am kind of sure I know what the meaning of my dream is. It means that we are all chased by technology. We are chasing it and also running away from it at the same time. We cannot keep up with it.  We are restless and anxious.

I wonder if I can go back to bed and fall sleep again. I come back to my bedroom get into my bed. I turn the dim light by my bed on. “Maybe I should read a bit. This always helps get me sleepy,” I think to myself. I pick up the New York Times page fom my night table next to my bed and start reading the head line: “A Muse Called Instagram.”

An excerpt from New York Times’s article, “Fashion’s Latest Muse? Instagram” by Ruth La Ferla:

A compulsive snapper of all things stylish, kitschy or arcane, Susanna Lau, the blogger known as Susie Bubble, wandered earlier this summer through the Meiji Park flea market in Tokyo taking pictures of vintage Hawaiian shirts, toy robots and tiny Minnie Mouse dolls to upload to her phone. Multimedia

A handful of years ago, she might have archived those images, marking them for her eyes only. Now she has made them accessible to anyone with a camera phone and an Instagram account. So it didn’t surprise her, Ms. Lau said the other day, that when she returned from her travels, “I saw some of my images on designers’ mood boards.”

Her experience is hardly unique. In recent months designers of every stripe and aesthetic persuasion have turned to Instagram for a glimpse into the lives and tastes of their fans — bloggers like Ms. Lau, stylists, models, artists and random visitors, who in turn are snapping and posting their way into designers’ consciousness, onto their mood boards, into ad campaigns and, directly or obliquely, onto their runways.

“Imagery is such a big part of how we get inspired,” said Jason Wu, a self-professed Instagram addict whose profile lists close to 85,000 followers and who routinely follows more than 150 users himself. “You’re privy to their way of thinking, or at least what they want you to think,” Mr. Wu said. “And that changes the way we design.”

Since its inception two years ago, Instagram, with some 150 million monthly users (it was acquired by Facebook last year for $1 billion), has emerged as a kind of visual Twitter. No surprise, then, that it is being exploited by fashion labels at every level of the marketplace as an image bank, a research tool, a showcase for their wares and now, most compellingly, a route into consumers’ heads. Fashion’s persistence in scouring the app for inspiration and feedback promises to turn the industry’s old hierarchy squarely on its head.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/fashion/fashions-latest-muse-instagram.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

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Posted in LIfestyle, Miscellaneous & Opinion, Technology |

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