Last year it was ‘Death By Selfie’ wherein overly adventurous ‘photographers’ would put themselves in danger to capture a magic moment, soon to be forgotten, going to such extremes of unwise behaviour as to sometimes result in fatal falls.
Now we have the gathering of the mobs. Driven by a collective ‘social’ media frenzy to swarm en masse and wreck havoc, again in pursuit of the perfect Instagram moment. Again soon to be forgotten in the endless stream of banal look-alike images served up by facebooks advert bots.
This time it was the misfortune of Ontario’s Bogle Seeds farm which saw the swarm of Insta Locusts arrive via 7,000 cars, armed to the teeth with selfie sticks and smart phones. I was under the impression there was a climate crisis.
Naturally chaos ensured and the poor farm, and local infrastructure, was overwhelmed.
At least the Insta-masses where satisfied, sort of, I guess. I imagine the only real winners were the Instagram / facebook / advertising / data hoarding platforms.
This latest feeding frenzy leaves me scratching my head, at least from a photographers point of view.
What exactly is the point of rushing to the same spot as everyone else to capture the same images as everyone else?
I thought the point of art was to have a unique, individual, vision. This whole episode just seems to be one of mob vision.
Sunflowers are nice enough but there are lots of places to see them and they are hardly rare and exotic.
Also the irony of thousands of cars driving for hours and spewing who knows how much greenhouse gas pollution into the atmosphere, exacerbated by the resulting traffic jams and idling, just to spend a few hours in nature is kind of sad and depressing actually.
It also shows that anytime a business or organization with even a hint to social media appeal thinks about holding such an event they might want to seriously think again or at least carefully calibrate their expectations and preparations.
Again I’m drawn back to the trendy saying that ‘today, everyone is a photographer.’
There’s no way to express how much I disagree with that idea.