In search of the Sublime.

This might be my second post about Instagram. About its worth to me, personally. It’s quick and superficial — looking at the “the continuous partial everywhere” of Cerveny and Juha, but maybe in terms of Coleridge and Wordsworth. I think I’m coming to find the opposite of Juha’s experience; a continuous partial nowhere.

The constant awareness of other people’s locations – thanks to foursquare, twitter, instagram – is causing a small sense of dislocation. I am not really a part of those locations. It’s wonderful, of course, precisely because of that. It’s cause for fantasy. Of escapism.

I’ve found the photographs I’ve actively liked on Instagram are pretty much a straight split between food/drink, brutal/urban, and pastoral/remote; the rest made up of moments and (what would once have been) noticings.

It’s pastoral/remote images like this:



and this:

I think I’m increasingly drawn to them because they’re over there. Not here, part of my daily routine. They’re a foreign bit, and they are very definitely somewhere. I find myself following people from Finland, Portland, Norway, adventurers and people near lands of tall pines, mountains, fjords. I follow them to escape briefly from the urban, suburban, bricks, mortar and railway tracks.

This is the nearest I have to a contemporary Romanticism; to reconnect with landscapes I haven’t known. Finding moments of the Sublime in amongst the bus rides in the city.

It’s the pastoral companion to Bridle’s Robot Flâneur. It’s post-industrial escapism delivered by the ultra-modern super-computer in my pocket.

(Images by Anne Holiday, Jez Burrows, Graeme Douglas & Jørn Knutsen, respectively)