Instagram has become a force within the visual art world over the years. While many artists showcase work they admire, a large percentage of the work displayed is original. and often times push boundaries of gender, philosophy, and even identity. Hayley Eichenbaum is one of those inquisitive and highly perceptive artists, who investigates and reconstructs situations to challenge the norm. Her account combines potentials of sculpture, design, engineering, and still life.
I want to make things that give people exciting and energized reactions and then feed off of that.
How does Instagram affect your work, or does it at all?
Before I joined Instagram, I was hardly interacting online at all. It drastically changed my creative practice. I am an interdisciplinary artist that focuses mainly in performance art and installation. It wasn’t until I began an Instagram account, and found a very supportive community within it, that I felt encouraged enough to take my photography practice further.
Tell us a bit about what inspires you.
When it comes to finding subject matter, I’m attracted to anything that may
allude to a movie set. I also have a thing for 1950s/1960s aesthetics: the
architecture, the shapes, and colors. Conceptually, I’m intrigued by those transitory moments where reality doesn’t seem sincere – an instant in time where the line between surreal and real is so delicate that it is almost nonexistent.
What defines a great Instagram feed in your opinion?
As much as my own feed is fairly calculated, I appreciate ones that are more spontaneous and unapologetic. Nevertheless, I am attracted to
accounts that have a defining aesthetic or underlying concept, consisting
of images that are exploratory but clever. A great feed should be like an
arrangement of great stories.
Do you see social media as a tool to inspire or the other way around?
Since I began my account two years ago, I have found nothing but
inspiration. I was passionately reluctant to join Instagram – thinking it was
a black hole of selfies and promotional gimmicks. And that world does exist, so in a way, you have to be responsible for what you put in and what you get out of social media; If you use it with the intention of finding and sharing thoughtful things, inspiration is inevitably generated. I joined Instagram with great caution. But I ended up finding a talented and supportive community, comprised of people from all over the world. I’m thankful, and without a doubt, the platform provides great motivation.
What do you hope viewers get from your work?
I have a lot to learn about photography, and I believe I’m still searching for my voice within this medium. My photos are very different conceptually from my other work. As seen within my feed, I pursue strong graphics and fleeting sky-scapes. I use what technical skills I have, but I depend heavily on serendipity. I rely on that perfect, ephemeral moment. I spend a lot of time wandering and waiting. The commercial designer in me wants my audience to be pleased purely on an aesthetic level. The conceptual artist in me wants my audience to question where surrealism meets reality. However, at this early of a stage in my practice, I’m grateful if my images provoke any kind of response.