Friday, 28 February 2014

The Easily Distracted....

Every Monday morning, in the fall, I'd look forward to my inbox, and an email from
Miranda July and her celebrity pals.

Well, kinda.  It was an email where she asked her celebrity friends to take part in an experiment with her, and submit an email with the parameters that she had set.  I had to sign up to be a part of her project, and was curious about the content of the emails to come.

One day her request was, "send me an email with a photo of yourself in it", and "an email that includes a dream you had".  So, it was 20 weeks of reading emails from Lena Dunham,
Kirsten Dunst, Sheila Heti, and many others.  It was a pretty provocative project, not so much for the content of the emails (celebrities are just as boring as we are), but for the exploration itself, in how we represent our voice through email, and in Miranda's words,

" Privacy, the art of it, is evolving. Radical self-exposure and classically manicured discretion can both be powerful, both be elegant. And email itself is changing, none of us use it exactly the same way we did ten years ago; in another ten years we might not use it at all."

I began to find the lack of personal information in some peoples emails most revealing
and wondered how much they were honestly sharing/holding back, again, all of the same
concerns that July has in her work, which I think made this project really successful.

The full description of that project is here:

That intersection of privacy, public/private and the curation of ones life are persistent subjects in Miranda July's artwork, and films.  She just released a cut scene from her film, "The Future", which illustrates all of the objects and sources of her distractions and obsessions.  A good reminder for the weekend, to get outside, and walk away from the tethers of the online world.  After watching the film, I wondered what would be my most precious thing? What object would I hold hostage?  What object would you hold hostage?I'm leaving my cellphone at home.

Here is the video link:


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