Miranda July kicked off her latest artistic venture this month, an email-based project titled “WE THINK ALONE”. Every Monday through the end of November, participants will receive a collection of real emails from the likes of Lena Dunham, Kristen Dunst, the founders of Rodarte, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Each collection is based on a theme: this week was “advice”, while last week was “money”.
July says of the project:
I’m always trying to get my friends to forward me emails they’ve sent to other people — to their mom, their boyfriend, their agent — the more mundane the better. How they comport themselves in email is so intimate, almost obscene — a glimpse of them from their own point of view…Privacy, the art of it, is evolving. Radical self-exposure and classically manicured discretion can both be powerful, both be elegant. And email itself is changing, none of us use it exactly the same way we did ten years ago; in another ten years we might not use it at all.
So far, the weekly emails have proved to be more than just a amusing break from inbox clearing; the content and style is as personal as July describes. Last week, for instance, we learned that Dunham once considered buying a $20,000 couch but decided it was “just too expensive :)”. While there is certainly an element of celebrity playing into the appeal here, exploring the language we use in emails is a great concept. July is definitely onto something.
If you would like to be on WE THINK ALONE’s mailing list, you can sign up here.