Really (Rarely) Real Project Statement

Really (Rarely) Real examines the intrusion, or more precisely the inclusion, of the digitally mediated universe into our previously private intimate lives.

We are making our most intimate spaces and actions public. As Penelope Green wrote for The New York Times:

 “In a YouTube world, one’s home is no longer one’s private retreat: it’s just a container for the webcam.”

The project references both Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalytic concepts, as discussed in my essay on The Gaze. The point of departure for this work is Lee Friedlander’s Little Screens series on the introduction of the television into the American living room and his critique of how that would forever change our social interaction. Today’s real time Internet makes Friedlander’s earlier critique seem prescient, but quaint.

Digital media has moved us from television’s PG-rated living room into the Internet’s X-rated bedroom. The bedroom, our most private space, is becoming a stage.

The digital screen offers a real time laboratory to help us define and redefine sexuality, identity and intimacy in ways that are forever changed. We are exposing ourselves on a global stage and forging new mediated intimate relationships, both realized and fantasized. We are redefining public and private spaces and challenging perceptions of fact and fantasy, often choosing to reveal more in mediated digital encounters with strangers than in our intimate physical world relationships. This project explores how we reveal in those digital encounters in contrast to the veils we deploy in the “real” world.