The Strange, Soothing World of Instagram’s Computer-Generated Interiors

The spaces project order and calm, and rely on a visual vocabulary of affluence, indulgence, and restraint. They are uncluttered and private; welcoming but undamaged by human use. They are also slightly sterile. Although some incorporate hints of activity—a rumpled bedspread, an open magazine placed poolside—the spaces are uninhabited. An important part of the fantasy, it seems, is the absence of other people.
The polished silver capsules are an appropriate, if jarring, frame for the uncanny, ethereal images they contain: an imitation of real-world constraints, and a reflection of the artificial scarcity manufactured by the N.F.T. economy. “Virtual worlds pose very exciting opportunities,” Taylor told me. The “movement toward the metaverse,” she said, seemed like the logical next step.