WE LIVE IN PUBLIC
Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival 2009
10 years in the making and culled from 5,000 hours of footage, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC reveal the effects the web will have on our society through a series of startling social experiments funded by “the greatest Internet pioneer you’ve never heard of” the former Internet mogul, artist, and visionary, Josh Harris. Called the “Warhol of the Web”, Harris founded Pseudo.com, the first Internet television network during the dot-com boom of the 1990s. He also curated and funded the ground-breaking project “Quiet”, putting roughly 150 people in an underground bunker in NYC at the turn of the Millenium, where they lived together on camera for 30 days, broadcasting every moment of their lives on a close circuit network. Before reality television and the existence of online social networks, the bunker demonstrated how willing we are to trade our privacy for the elusive and often unrealized promise of recognition and connection offered by technological advances. Harris’ next experiment, a 6 month stint of broadcasting every moment of his life with his girlfriend from 32 motion-controlled surveillance cameras and 66 microphones when broadband was introduced in 2000, led to his mental collapse and demonstrated the heavy price we can pay for living in public. Now, with our addiction as a society to these “virtual boxes” we’ve downloaded our brains to and the hits of Dopamine we receive from “likes” and “friends” in our social networks, the film’s prophecies have come true, and the relevance of it’s message is even more important. WE LIVE IN PUBLIC won 2009 Sundance Grand Jury Prize for this riveting and cautionary tale of what to expect as the virtual world takes control of our lives.
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