Jasper & Noortje

An artful examination of the limits of the Instagram algorithm

TABOOB is an idea by photographer Noortje Palmers and graphic designer Jasper Declercq. With the project, they wanted to test how far censorship of women’s breasts extends on Instagram. What makes a breast a breast according to the algorithm? Should she be round and white? Could she be hairy? Could she have seven nipples, or even none?

Papieren brochure MAGDANOG?!

Together with stylists Farah el Bastani, Harriet Wouters and makeup artist Carolien Wardenier, Jasper and Noortje photographed 78 different “taboobs. They posted these photos one by one on the Instagram page @taboobofficial. The concept proved to be a hot topic, as in a matter of days the number of followers grew to several tens of thousands. Eventually, Instagram blocked the page. Twice, in fact.

A curious book design

The book design is one by Tina De Souter. During the launch of Café Cliché, she explained a word: “Because the experiment was already so well known, it was important for us not to make a ‘flat copy,’ yet we wanted to offer an extra with the book. What this book has more than the Instagram account is, first of all, that it is not blocked. It really exists, and all the photos are in it.”

“In addition, we have put a nod to the Instagram algorithm via the technique press cut. We printed the notification that appears when a photo is blocked by Instagram on the book’s cut. This is visible when the book is closed and optically forms a barrier: Beware, behind this is sensitive content.

“To determine the order of the photos, we had to dissect the entire book. All the photos that were blocked by Instagram were placed in the book in such a way that they came out right behind a chalk paper. A chalk paper with Instagram’s warning icon.”

Link to: Diesel & Veggie Oil – Timo VergauwenLink to: Buitengewoon – Carolle ServaygeLink to: Taboob – Noortje Palmers & Jasper DeclercqLink to: They look for – Stijn Van der Linden