We Live in Public
Director: Ondi Timoner Run Time: 91 min. Format: 35mm Rating: NR Release Year: 2009
Ten years ago, Dig! director Ondi Timoner became the only person to win the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice – this time for We Live in Public, a riveting cautionary tale about what to expect as the virtual world takes control of our lives.
Ten years in the making and culled from 5,000 hours of footage, We Live in Public reveals the effects the internet will have on our society through a series of startling social experiments funded by “the greatest internet pioneer you’ve never heard of” – 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 before inviting 150 people into an underground bunker in downtown NYC at the turn of the Millenium, to live together on camera for 30 days, broadcasting every moment of their lives on a closed-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, WeLiveinPublic.com, was a 6 month stint broadcasting every moment of his life with his girlfriend from 32 motion-controlled surveillance cameras and 66 microphones, leading to his mental collapse and demonstrating the heavy price we can pay for living in public.