IDportland: The Public Isolation Project
Editor’s Note: This post is from November 2010, taken from a previous blog and included with Initial Descent.
It doesn’t take too much time walking around Portland’s Pearl District to recognize the artistic qualities of the city. It is, after all, a breeding ground for hipsters. While I was expecting the gallery vibe downtown, I stumbled upon one of the more interesting public art projects I’ve seen while biking back to my friend’s house in Northeast Portland…the Public Isolation Project along East Burnside Avenue.
While it strikes you at first glance as a model for an apartment complex or something, upon second glance you realize that a real person is in there, living her life, in full public view. A collaboration between photographer Joshua Jay Ellis and freelance production manager Cristin Norine, Norine is living for an entire 30 days–or all of November–in the fully glass-walled space, using only social media to communicate with the outside world. E-mail, Skype, texting, Twitter, and that’s it…an experiment designed to personify how this very social media engulfs us all with 24/7 accessibility and little privacy. And quite a site to stumble upon!