All social media are playgrounds for the narcissists among us, but Instagram is particularly effective as a platform for self-promotion. These three narrative augmented reality filters by multidisciplinary artist David OReilly (@davidoreilly) rely on the willingness of users to cast themselves as the visual subject. At the same time, they put this vanity and self-centeredness firmly into perspective.
AAAHHHHH!!!! is the ultimate illustration of human insignificance: in an evolutionary cycle lasting barely fifteen seconds you transform from amoeba to primate, to Homo sapiens, to dust. What’s more, the artist has also added a game element that allows you to fight with a higher power. It’s both hilarious and ominous, but also technically clever and unexpectedly profound. As is Simulation, in which you are shown both prenatally and postmortem, and It’s Always You, with a Droste effect that has you looking at yourself while looking at yourself looking at yourself. Anyone who uses the free filters and tags them in the final result has a good chance of being included in a meta-work that OReilly posts on his socials as a co-creation.