Every Friday, BULLETT’s introducing our favorite Instagram profiles and getting to know the people behind the posts.
@motelvibes is the melancholic cityscape Instagram that will leave you daydreaming while you check the soonest flight to Tokyo. Obsessed with nostalgic films and memories of things that never really happened, Asia Dellanoce, the poster behind the account, tells the stories of her subconscious through images that evade time. With stills from our favorite sad movies, and photos of lonely, neon-lit streets, Dellanoce revives the somber but picturesque Tumblr aesthetic that we’ve all missed in the years since Instagram took over.
And even though her page has blown up, she didn’t set out with that goal in mind––the 21-year-old initially started her account as a means of sharing internet finds with a friend, who simultaneously started @popcultureinpictures. Afterwards, the Switzerland-based curator let her Instagram sit for months before turning it into a visual diary full of her favorite nighttime city scenes and pensive Bill Murray movie moments. Weaving art, fashion and music recommendations throughout her collection, Dellanoce gives new life to the places, films and looks we love in a world that feels just slightly out of reach.
Why did you start @motelvibes?
Me and my friend had all these pictures saved and I never knew where to post them, because it felt weird to post them on Facebook. But I still wanted to share them, and she felt the same way. It was mostly just for ourselves––it was never meant to be a big Instagram account.
What themes do you explore?
The themes you’ll find are more of a subconscious thing for me. I’ve gone back and noticed a lonely aura. But the account is just a diary of how I feel––it’s my projections. I’ve never really meant to post things in a particular way, since the beginning.
Do you consider your account art?
Some people do make art with their Instagrams, but I wouldn’t apply that to me. All my interests are art-related: photography, music, movies, and I used to edit video clips with music, but I don’t call that art. I’ve been trying watercolor and film photography lately. But to call me an artist would be sacrilegious.
Which films inspire your curation?
Chungking Express, Lost in Translation, Moonlight, Only Lovers Left Alive and I have this weird obsession with this shitty movie called Rat Race. I’m not picky with movies––I’m a movie buff for sure, but I’m not overly critical. Lost in Translation is nostalgic in a way, I don’t know why but it makes me sad when I watch it. Only Lovers Left Alive has that same feeling. I love Seth Rogen movies too, but they’re fucking dumb.
Where else do you find inspiration for your curation?
I love images of Tokyo, though I’ve never been. I’m drawn to really tall buildings all lit up and vibrant at night. I love the idea of places that have a more prominent nightlife culture than the places where I’ve lived. I have this obsession with the desert, even though I’ve never seen it. I also feel inspired by casinos.
Why is it important for you to share these photos with an audience?
People will message me and say, ‘I feel the same way looking at that photo.’––it’s like there’s this shared feeling between a stranger and me that neither of us can really describe. The page emulates this nostalgic moment, almost stuck in this fantasy version of the world. Maybe some of my followers did live in Tokyo in 1967, or maybe we all had another life––it’s just a weird feeling I love to share, missing a nonexistent memory.