How to Get Lena Dunham, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Catherine Opie to Send You an Email / Hyperallergic

We Think Alone

We Think Alone by Miranda July

CHICAGO — We are “connected” yet always alone. It’s a shared sentiment that will define this internet generation of likers, commenters, rebloggers, texters, and pinners. These are the selfie-shooters who take smartphone images of themselves in the privacy of their bathrooms and then share them on the very public yet semi-anonymous internet, and who use email to reveal secrets, as if confessing to crimes. Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together speaks to this sort of “socializing” created by the internet, and the way we are able to be in constant contact through our devices, yet feel very much alone. In fact, we may have forgotten how to be alone — what with our iDistractions as Jonathan Safron Foer writes in his curious op-ed “How to Not Be Alone“ — or is it that we no longer even desire those solitary moments? Indeed, quietness and solitude are obviously reserved for Buddhist monks living high above the clouds in fill-in-the-blank remote country, existing in a spiritual space that is unattainable in our modern American world. Or is it?

Miranda July’s new project We Think Alone toys with this notion, blurring the lines between a public confession and a private thought, asking participants Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lena Dunham, Kirsten Dunst, Sheila Heti, Etgar Keret, Late and Laura Mulleavy, Catherine Opie Lee Smolin and Danh Vo to share emails they’ve written which have already been sent, received and processed by someone on the receiving end. They are private thoughts, correspondences, and even confessions. And hopefully they will be as juicy as James Joyce’s dirty love letters, which were most definitely concocted in private or as hilarious as The Daily Rumpus, which delivers overly personal emails from Stephen Rumpus himself.

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