This photo has been reposted to Instagram over 20 times, but it's only a quarter of the way through photographer Peter Ashton's destructive new experiment, I Am Sitting In Stagram. Ashton documented a portrait of composer Alvin Lucier as it decayed over the course of a 90-round Instagram reposting spree. Each time a photo is uploaded to the site, it loses some quality—but the effect isn't really obvious the first time, or the second time, or even the third time around. 90 screenshots and reposts later, however, the resulting blob of desaturated image artefacts is a stark visual representation of just how limited technology can be.
Ashton named the experiment I Am Sitting In Stagram as a throwback to Lucier’s 1969 experiment I Am Sitting In A Room, which involved the artist recording himself, then recording that recording over and over until all that he could hear was indecipherable noise, just like Ashton's own mess of a final photograph.
See Ashton's process and the results of a follow up experiment with a new photo in the images and video below.