This weekend I was walking around Portland when I came across this interesting art exhibit in the bSIDE6 Gallery. Cristin Norine is participating in a live art piece. The Public Isolation Project is a dual art piece- Joshua Jay Elliott’s An Examinable Life and Cristin Norine’sThe Future of Socializing. Cristin has agreed to isolate herself in a glass cube that is in open view of the general public for the entire month of November. Her box consists of a living room and bedroom that are in view. There is a full bathroom in the back not in view, but this is her own privacy. Her computer is hooked up to a projector so even the contents of her computer are in full view of the world.

Both projects are looking at what effects the internet and social media have on our social life. Joshua’s project is the documentation of a person’s life for a month without privacy. He is looking at what the internet has done to isolate people in their homes or cubicles. Cristin’s project is looking at the effects of social media and how it is taking the place of physical interaction. She is looking at how a month without direct contact with a person affects her physically and emotionally.

Within the box Cristin is allowed to use skype for video communication, instant message, twitter, blogs, and Facebook and her phone for text messaging.  For groceries she orders them online and has them delivered to her building. She then coordinates with people in the building to receive them and then bring them down to here while she hides in the bathroom to avoid any human contact.

Here is the gallery Cristin is living in-

More pictures of her box are poster on her blog here.

Cristin is keeping a daily blog about the affects of being isolated and only relying on social media and the internet for contact. She brought up a very interesting issue that I seem to think about often. When talking to a friend you do not see often is it okay to mention you know they took a trip to Europe and that you looked through their pictures? Or is it proper etiquette to not mention it to avoid appearing like a stalker or creep. Likewise, should you assume someone has looked through your Facebook? This is where the distance between your online life and real life start to separate.