Instagram Clichés Become Arthouse Cinema

In this stop motion video, 852 Insta-pics combine to make a beautifully orchestrated travelogue.

It’s way too easy to mock Instagram users for their trite, wannabe-poetic content: hearts drawn in foamy lattes, sunsets at the beach, and newly purchased shoes, on a subway platform, viewed from above. It’s endless fodder for Buzzfeed listicles and meta commentary on the state of social media.


But Thomas Jullien, a French art director, saw potential in all those overblown filters and groan-inducing airplane window shots. “Instagram is a lovely platform but nonetheless very chaotic,” he says. “There were a lot of quality pictures but as well a huge amount of them that will just be unseen or even unused.”

As of October, Instagram users have shared 16 billion photos (and by the time you read this that number has likely ticked upwards by a million or two). With the help of Statigram, an Instagram metrics site, Jullien culled 852 photos from that massive batch of imagery, and built a short travel video.

The beep of an alarm clock kicks it off. Then it’s that shoes-from-above shot–but this time, it’s a blur of multiple photos of different shoes. Hop on a bike and cruise down the Champs-Élysées in Paris, towards a flickering composite of the Arc de Triomphe. Pedal around to the other side for a new view, and now you’re in New York, checking out Washington Square Park’s replica of that famous French monument.

The trip continues, darting from city to city in nanoseconds, but still seamlessly delivering the experience of the subway, or Berlin sightseeing, or skateboarding. As it goes with crowdsourced projects, Jullien, as the director, didn’t begin with much control over the storyline. After all, it depended on what he could pull from billions of Instagram users. “At first, I didn’t have a story in mind, except traveling from places to places,” he tells Co.Design. As he built, he found a way to make it one (busy) day of traveling around the world. Given the slew of clichés, the result is delightfully unironic and likely to inspire an adrenaline kick–especially with The Black Keys roaring away as the soundtrack.

[h/t Visual News]

About the author

Margaret Rhodes is a former associate editor for Fast Company magazine.