Nowadays we all can shoot, edit and share our images instantly – over 95 million photos and videos are posted daily on Instagram and over 2263 on Facebook every second, not to mention Twitter, SnapChat, TikTok, etc.  #ThisIsImportant prompts participants to think about the lifespan of photos on social media and to transpose this timeframe to printed stills in a gallery setting.

The installation celebrates collective creativity and brings people together by highlighting their individual stories to create a new evolving artwork. It provides a space for visitors to reflect on the importance of their personal memories and to share them in a meaningful and collaborative way.

As the photos are printed and displayed, questions arise: why has someone chosen this particular image amongst the thousands in their smartphone gallery? Are we looking at a secret lover, a deceased brother, a self-portrait? What happened in that building, what does this object or landscape evoke for the contributor?

Participants come to see their most important image on display – but as each photo is printed out it is pinned over a previous one, effectively overwriting it. Each image is as ephemeral on the gallery walls as it would have been online.

#ThisIsImportant was first conceived for the Photo Elysée museum in Lausanne, Switzerland. The installation was hosted by the museum’s digital lab, which questions the way that a cultural institution dedicated to photography plays with new technologies, inviting both the online and physical visitor to contribute to the photography museum of the future.