Motherboard's Favorite Instagram Accounts This Year

From gore to gadgets to glitch art.

|
Dec 29 2015, 11:00am

Instagram is often painted as the social media channel of selfies, party shots, and pictures of people having drinks by the pool—a shallow collection of snaps where the user tries to create the picture of an aspirational, fun-filled life. But plenty of people are using Instagram in unexpected ways: for personal art projects, sharing technological treasures, and straight-up nature porn. In no particular order, here's a roundup of Motherboard's favorite Instagrams of 2015.

the.jefferson.grid

I fell in love with The Jefferson Grid project months ago, and though it seems to be on hiatus at the moment, I'm hoping it comes back soon. The Jefferson Grid refers to a colonial-era land division system written by none other than TJ himself in 1785. His Land Ordinance divided land in parts of the country west of the Mississippi in square mile parcels, making new territory easier to survey. This Instagram account takes aerial shots of these square mile blocks from Google Earth, showing the beautiful patterns created in the land by nature, agriculture, and civilization.

Cool 3D World:

According to Motherboard editor Matthew Braga, this is "the best homage to 1990s computer graphics on the net." Cool 3D World is a completely bizarro collection of borderline-NSFW images and videos. Imagine if Matthew Barney had access to old 3D animation software. It's the uncanny valley on acid.

NIGHTLIQUID_RETRO.INC

This account bills itself as "pictures of places and objects with a certain mood," and that mood is a delightfully colorblocked world of obsolete technology. Staff writer Jason Koebler says, "I'm a sucker for old electronics, and, absurd name aside, the NIGHTLIQUID_RETRO.INC is wonderful for anyone who likes seeing ~the way we were~." From classic Gameboys to old phones designed by famous architect Ettore Sottsass, NIGHTLIQUID_RETRO.INC showcases the beauty of objects we'd overlook in a different context.

Roadkill, Inc.

Computer refurbisher John Bumstead repairs Apple laptops, but he's found a fun side gig in making gorgeous abstract art from screen defects. Glitch art has been hot for a while now, but Bumstead's work is a cut above—and ephemeral. When Motherboard staff writer Jason Koebler interviewed Bumstead last month, Bumstead explained: "You power on the machine and see what it produces...but when it warms up it may do a different thing or it may break entirely, so you're really just capturing a moment in time."

"Morgue Instagram," via @mrs_angemi

Controversial and not for the faint of heart (really), Nicole Angemi's Instagram account chronicles her work as a pathologist's assistant, sharing some truly gross snapshots from the dissection table. Motherboard visited Angemi earlier this year—check out the video if this is your bag.

The Audubon Society

Editor-in-chief Derek Mead: "I really fucking love birds!" Showcasing gorgeous illustrations from Audubon himself (among others) and high-resolution photos of our feathered friends in the wild, the Audubon Society's new account is the perfect Instagram haven for bird lovers.

Stories