Instagram: A Space of Alternate Ordering?
As worldly space increasingly coincides with online spaces, it is important to consider the radical potential of these new spaces that are both separate from the space of the physical world, but also deeply related to it. This article uses radical French thinker Michel Foucault’s theory of Heterotopia, and Kevin Hetherington’s later adaptation, to investigate the radical potential of the social-media platform, Instagram. First outlining how Instagram is inherently heterotopic and extrapolating what this means, the article progresses to introduce real-life examples in which Instagram’s heterotopic spatiality has had both detrimental and beneficial effects on the space of our physical world. Taking examples from the #blacklivesmatter movement and gender-rights campaigns, such as #metoo, #timesup, and #wontbeerased, as well as the disastrous Fyre Festival in 2017, this article draws reader attention to Instagram’s potential as a heterotopic space that can change the way humans exist in the spaces they physically inhabit. It asks how by identifying Instagram as a space of alternate ordering engulfed with radical potential, users should then approach it as a site of resistance and transgression, and thus, begets wider questions about the radical potential of online spaces as a whole.