Whitney Aiken, a lonely voice in the window of Works Gallery,
by Erin Goodwin-Guerrero
Space 47, a San Jose Gallery began a sociological investigation by mentoring a selected group of young people in the self-examination of behaviors on the internet. Parents, schools and sociologists have become increasingly concerned over boundaries broken on the internet. What is the subtext of shameless engagement in topics, acts and revelations that in previous generations were considered to be private, personal, embarrassing or incriminating?
On such sites as Facebook, YouTube and Myspace, young people show themselves nude, in sexual postures, drunk and passed out and in many other ways that would have been anathema to their parents’ generation. Why does the current generation seems to have no need to maintain good face, avoid public shame, and conceal “issues”? Honesty, at times brutal, is embraced –perhaps as part of a youthful idealism, mixed with exhibitionism — that we all remember from our years under the age of thirty.
Whitney Aiken prepared The Biggest, Most Influential Thing that has Ever Happened to Me, as part of the Space 47 project. Daily, for six weeks, Aiken broadcast through word and pictures on the internet her grief over the death of her father, her mother’s breast cancer, and her own fears for inherited tendencies toward cancer.
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