Lachlan MacDowall’s Instafame: Graffiti and Street Art in the Instagram Era, published by Intellect Books and the University of Chicago Press, is now available.

Instafame charts the impact of Instagram – one of the world’s most popular social media platforms – on visual culture in the decade since its launch. The book traces the intuitive connections between graffiti, street art and Instagram, arguing that social media’s unending battle for viewers’ attention is closely aligned with the eye-catching ethos of unsanctioned public art. Beginning with the observation that the scroll of images on a sideways phone screen resembles graffiti seen through the windows of a train in motion, MacDowall moves outwards to give us a wide-ranging look at how Instagram has already effected a dramatic shift in the making and viewing of graffiti and street art. Using more than 23 million pieces of public data, Instafame is both a detailed study of the Instagram platform and the most comprehensive study of the intertwined global fields of graffiti and street art to date, making visible its key players, institutions and patterns of taste.