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Now your Instagram photos can be part of Toronto's largest photography festival

Posted by Derek Flack / March 5, 2013

Instagram TorontoIf you're not on Instagram, it's quite possible that you don't actually exist. If you can get over the profound Western bias and socioeconomic privilege inherent in that statement, you'll understand that my point is directed towards our contemporary desire to archive everything. Had a pretty-looking salad for lunch? Shoot it. Bought some new sunglasses? Time for a selfie! Have kids? Better make sure to capture every funny face they make.

But what about art? While not everyone's a believer, if you spend enough time on Instagram, you'll notice some absolutely fabulous photographs. While you couldn't blow them up and exhibit them beside Edward Burtynsky's large format work, it'd be tough to argue that some of them don't deserve the gallery treatment. Chalk it up to the infinite monkey theorem, if you will.

Though surely not the first exhibit of its kind, INSTAGRATIFICATION is an upcoming show at Goodfellas Gallery that should attract the interest of the city's most committed Instagramers. Held in conjunction with the CONTACT Photography Festival, the exhibition will feature a whopping 500 12" x 12" photographs all sourced from, you guessed it, smartphones.

If nothing else, the show should provide an intriguing glimpse into our archival impulses and just what quality of images can now be created with in-phone cameras. Would-be participants have until April 22 to register. The cost is $60, which covers the wood panel-mounted print, entry in the show, and the opportunity to sell one's work for $120. The image voted best of the bunch will be awarded a $1000 prize courtesy of the gallery and Hello Foto.

More details can be found on the exhibition's dedicated website.



Insta-cynic / March 5, 2013 at 01:14 pm

step 1: 500 entries at $60 a pop = $30,000.

Step 2 : Printing and framing each piece, probably $10/per = $5,000

Step 3 : $25,000 profit. (less $425 Contact entry fee).
Derek replying to a comment from Insta-cynic / March 5, 2013 at 01:37 pm
Heaven forbid that an independent gallery come up with an idea that sounds both interesting and profitable.
Tyler / March 5, 2013 at 02:23 pm
This will be a very exciting exhibition with photography from all over the world. It's a wonderful idea to bring "everyone" together easily. We are excited to see what society will bring to the table!

Some math for you / March 5, 2013 at 02:41 pm
1500px by 1500px?

90% of instagram shots will look like shit blown up to 12" by 12".

Your little iphone screen is very forgiving when you're looking at a 1764x1764 jpeg as a 2.5"x2.5" image.

Keep that in mind if you're going to participate....

davezak / March 5, 2013 at 02:42 pm
smart smart smart idea! can't wait to see the show. This gallery has impressed me a few times now.
Big Fuckin Mega Boat / March 5, 2013 at 02:53 pm
Can I enter instagrams of my balls? I would totally be willing to pay $60.00 if they displayed that.
MttD / March 5, 2013 at 02:55 pm
Instagram outputs at full resolution to the phone's image library, the smaller image actually used on instagram is the 612x612. So it should translate fine if ppl are using the original phone's image.

Also the gallery states that the show is open to any mobile-phone camera application, not just instagram, so long as it is in square format. Should be interesting, I will def be there opening night.
insto / March 5, 2013 at 02:56 pm
How will they ensure the photos were actually taken with a phone?
Big Fuckin Mega Boat replying to a comment from insto / March 5, 2013 at 03:12 pm
They could check the EXIF data to confirm if they being really anal. A good eye can usually distinguish between a camera phone and a decent, dedicated camera in any event...though the gap is getting smaller.
Franklin / March 5, 2013 at 03:13 pm
The sample printout on the website look great! Can't wait!!!!
Joshua James / March 5, 2013 at 03:23 pm
Insta-cynic, math is your strong point, organizing a group photography exhibit of this caliber clearly isn't. Where is your cost of operating the 7000sq ft warehouse the exhibit is being hosted in for the month located at 1266 Queen St W? Any idea what rent cost per month for something like that?
And i suppose having an entire website designed by none other than the infamous Trend Collective is just a freebie huh.
And the 4 people taking the time to paint/mount the photo's on wood panel, probably free employee's too.
I doubt there is any marketing and advertising costs either, fat chance you're going to see thousands of post cards and posters distributed around the city.
I wonder what the gallery is going to do with their HUGE cash grab? Maybe keep the gallery in business for another month or two. Also, if you happen to find the panels and printing combined for $10 each, please forward us your contacts because you're getting a GREAT deal for printing and cutting 500 12x12 photos.

Some math for you, we've already posted a sample of what the finished product looks like, we've done our "math" and chose 12x12 for that exact reason, with "1500px by 1500px" the photo's are nearly flawless. Although we've had some participants send lower resolution, they will be contacted and given the opportunity to re-send us an image at the required px.

Big Fuckin Mega Boat, there are no rules to what you can submit. if those are the photo's you're taking with your cell phone, join the club buddy. We will probably have to dedicate an entire wall to swinging dicks and balls, nature of the beast.

Hope that clears a few things up, let the hating commence.
B Rock replying to a comment from Joshua James / March 5, 2013 at 03:41 pm
Insta-Cynic just go insta-owned.
FreakofNature / March 5, 2013 at 03:46 pm
Wild Concept... love it!
BeastofBurden / March 5, 2013 at 03:50 pm
Love all the comments on this show. Good God.
Good luck to the gallery.

I want that $1000 bucks. Gonna submit today!

j-rock replying to a comment from Insta-cynic / March 5, 2013 at 03:55 pm
I get the point you're trying to make, but nowhere will print and frame for $10.

I don't use Instagram, and sometimes get a little bored of the overly processed pictures of babies and food that fill my Facebook newsfeed, but I think this is a cool idea.

The worst part about the emergence of high-quality camera phones is that now, anyone can be a "photographer". But that's also the best part.
Wild West / March 5, 2013 at 04:02 pm
tHE TruTH iS. EverYONe is a photograPHer. ThEY JusT DOnt KNow It.
Vince / March 5, 2013 at 04:20 pm
already submitted my image!
Jono / March 5, 2013 at 04:55 pm
This is a really interesting concept; can't wait to see it! If I had instagram, I'd probably try and submit something : )

billy casper / March 5, 2013 at 05:22 pm
Hahahahahahaha. Great
Chang / March 5, 2013 at 05:37 pm
You don't need an Instagram account to submit. Any photo taken with a cell phone that meets the guidelines will be accepted. :)
Tyler Armstrong / March 5, 2013 at 07:02 pm
At last, a show FOR the masses out there who go to shows but are never in them!! This is a clever and relevant idea with creativity and technology, honestly join the fub for a night. In my own experience Goodfellas has been nothing short of supportive and generous to new and upcoming artists and to the community around them.
Tyler Armstrong / March 5, 2013 at 07:04 pm
Joshua James / March 5, 2013 at 08:03 pm
For each comment letting us know this write up on BlogTO is why you submitted, we will be feeding Derek Flack a free beer at the opening reception. Something tells me he's going to be tipsy. Thanks again for the continued support Derek!
Fig / March 5, 2013 at 08:54 pm
Simply awesome idea - can't wait to see the exhibition. And Derek after a few + beers lol.
Francis / March 5, 2013 at 09:35 pm
Hey, can we submit multiple times?
Shannon Carr / March 5, 2013 at 09:48 pm
Awesome concept. I'm definitely looking into it. I've been to this gallery before. Great people, great Vibe. I love Parkdale..Looking forward to it.
Tyler Tilley replying to a comment from Francis / March 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm
Yes you can definitely submit multiple times. Note, when you sell your fabulous photos during the exhibtion, you keep the entire $120. So if you think they are good enough, DO IT!
clicky / March 5, 2013 at 11:32 pm
How many have been submitted so far?
Joshua James replying to a comment from Francis / March 5, 2013 at 11:34 pm
You can submit as many times as you would like. If you are submitting a "series" of photos the gallery can assure they get hung together. I would suggest just sending a quick email to goodfellas to make sure they are aware its meant to hang together if it is.
InstaGenius / March 6, 2013 at 12:52 am
I've been to a few events at Goodfellas in the past and was wondering how you guys are planning on hanging the 500 photographs? Will there be room for each photo to have a label with the photographers name?
Redmouse15 / March 6, 2013 at 07:48 am
Goodfellas Gallery is run by a group of mastermind lunatics... It's an awesome idea to bring together phone photographers from all over the world... This show is not limited to Just Torontonians... Excited to see all the pieces submitted and who actually wins the $1000... I'm excited to buy a few interesting pieces... Hope there is a preview show for interested buyers...
Lorraine / March 6, 2013 at 07:52 am
Fabulous idea guys... I can't wait to see the end result.
TorontoTransformed / March 6, 2013 at 10:03 am
While I must admit I wasn't a fan of instagram at first ( some people don't hesitate to take a photo of ANYTHING, without knowledge or forethought for composure, lighting etc ), I have been quite impressed by some of the shots people around the city are taking with just a phone. There are clearly artistically inclined people out there. This is a great opportunity for them to get noticed but maybe the opportunity is for them to notice that there's an artist within themselves, and explore that talent.

I'm mostly an SLR/DSLR guy, but have taken the odd pic or two with my smartphone when I didn't have a camera available. I'll DEFINATELY be submitting something if not just for the fun of it!

Thanks to Joshua for putting certain people in their place.

Joshua James replying to a comment from InstaGenius / March 6, 2013 at 10:08 am
We've actually got a pretty interesting system for hanging, it's a grid system, I don't want to give too much away before the opening reception but it will be similar to playing battle ship minus the sinking of the ships of course.

This "system" will tell you exactly who's photo is who's, but the exhibit will remain a clean wall full of awesome photos and no tags.
Derek / March 6, 2013 at 04:38 pm
Sweet concept and I love how it's part of CONTACT!!!!

I was wondering if I could submit some other way other than going to Can I swing by the gallery and give you the file?
David Mckenzie / March 6, 2013 at 04:43 pm
I'm really confused about when commercial art gallies started to be considered not for profits. They work with their artists to sell and promote art. Gallery =/= Museum
Jessica / March 6, 2013 at 10:29 pm
The fact that there are commercial galleries, large institutions and others allow for a variety of artists at different levels to exist and exhibit work. Anyone who disagrees probably hasn't experienced trying to get work shown.
Joshua James replying to a comment from Derek / March 6, 2013 at 11:33 pm
Hey David, unfortunately the website is the only way we are taking submissions. Is there are specific reason why you can't submit online? If you're having trouble figuring out the steps I'm sure anyone at the gallery would be happy to answer any questions you may have, feel free to shoot us an email.
Olivia / March 6, 2013 at 11:34 pm
Great concept. Have many submissions been entered from around the world?
Joshua James replying to a comment from Olivia / March 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm
The gallery is really pushing hard for international submission, it's a HUGE part of the reason we came up with this concept in the first place. As of right now we have not reached as many countries as we are hoping to, but its early in the submissions process. My biggest worry is that by the time it reaches the right demographic in Europe and Asia we will have run out of space to accommodate. If you or anyone else have friends over seas you can send this blogTO write up to, it would be greatly appreciated.
Vince / March 7, 2013 at 01:16 pm
Been spreading the word on instagram and lots of people from around the world has commented/shown interest! I have a feeling people are taking their time in deciding which image to submit.

I'm glad i got mine in early! :)

TOiger / March 7, 2013 at 01:21 pm
LOVE the concept! I've been wanting to print out my cell phone pics to put up around the house for ages, but haven't gotten around to doing it... now i can submit my images and have someone else do it for me! and also have a chance to win $1000!! WoooooT! WIN WIN
Charles Pecker / March 7, 2013 at 02:20 pm
Is there a facebook group or instagram account for the show? I'm interested to see a preview of the show and what images people are submitting...
Joshua James replying to a comment from Vince / March 7, 2013 at 02:20 pm
Hopefully people don't wait too long. Although the deadline is April 22nd we only have the space to accommodate 500 photos. Some people have submitted as many as 6 times, so the spaces are running out quick!
Frodo replying to a comment from TOiger / March 7, 2013 at 11:57 pm
TOiger, you lazy.
Tyler Tilley replying to a comment from Charles Pecker / March 8, 2013 at 02:38 pm
Check it out Charles Pecker!;notif_t=like

Joshua James / March 8, 2013 at 04:36 pm
If anyone is interested in seeing the photos that are bringing submitted daily, join our Instagram! @instagratification2013
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