Camera eats first

Il rito del foodstagramming nella cultura visuale contemporanea


  • Stamatia Portanova

Parole chiave:

Foodstagramming, Visual Culture, Recursivity, Topology, Social Ritual


This article will focus on foodstagramming, ie the double act of taking pictures of food and of posting them on visually oriented platforms such as Instagram, intending it simultaneously as a particular social event and as an emerging singularity in the wide field of contemporary visual culture. Drawing on the important specificity of research work that has been recently done on this topic, the article will in fact suggest that it might be useful to treat foodstagramming both as a technosocial event and as a digital object of today’s visual culture, through which it is possible to observe several dynamics characterizing the latter, together with the salient traits connoting its own peculiarity. Among these dynamics, processes of visual informatization (Boccia Artieri), datification (Cukier & Mayer-Schönberger) and standardization, will be interpreted under the light of the important notion of automatic society introduced by B. Stiegler.


In order to escape the somehow alarmed and alarming conclusions drawn by Stiegler, the article will then try to “evoke” a series of theoretical reflections starting from a few visual recordings of the author’s personal experience with foodstagramming, therefore adopting the methodology of evocative autoethnography. The recordings will be interpreted through the interconnected concepts of algorithmic recursivity (Parisi and Dixon-Romàn) and cultural topology (Lury, Parisi and Terranova). Through this double lens, the article will thus try to unravel a few aesthetic dynamics and traits, revealing the crucial implications of the recursivity of foodstagrammed images and their virtualizing impact on cultural perception and representation. Isolating the recursive reproduction of themes and templates in food images, such cultural repercussions will be identified along a sort of perceptual and representational continuum involving the definition of foods and of the ethnic identities associated with them. At the same time, the modification of habits and movements induced by the topology of corporeal practices associated to foodstagramming, will be understood as a new ritualization crossing the individual, the social and the technological levels. It is in fact in the gestural reproduction implied by the act of taking a food picture, that a social novelty generates itself, in a new viral ritual spread by the circulation of kinaesthetic energy across corporeal and collective technicity. Investigating foodstagramming as one of the most diffused (and most theoretically and analytically neglected) trends in contemporary visual culture, this article will therefore try to propose a redefinition of the phenomenon as a viral object and a virtual ritual of contemporary visual culture.




Come citare

Portanova, S. (2023). Camera eats first: Il rito del foodstagramming nella cultura visuale contemporanea. Mediascapes Journal, 21(1), 264–276. Recuperato da