Chilliwack-born artist launches The Anonymous Project

Participants in the project can peel away layers of themselves by email, without revealing their identities

Krista Bailie has created The Anonymous Project. The goal is to see if it is possible for people to connect more deeply when they are not able to engage in the social media driven act of self-branding.

People on social media usually engage in the act of self-branding.

But what would happen if they were anonymous?

Chilliwack-born artist Krista Bailie calls her latest work, The Anonymous Project.

People are paired up with partners in the Anonymous Project and they start communicating with each other by email for six weeks.

“The goal is to see if it is possible to connect more deeply when we are not able to engage in the social media driven act of self-branding,” she said.

It’s an online global experiment in building community that will eventually lead to a show for the visual artist who is now based in Vancouver.

“Part of the motivation for this project actually came from my experience moving out to Vancouver and feeling isolated compared to the deep community mentality in Chilliwack,” she said.

She just started this spring, but already the project is making waves. About 100 people participated in the first go-round from all over the world from locations like Chilliwack, to Peru, Japan, the U.K. and across North America.

“I think it’s been a success,” Bailie said. “It’s been really fulfilling.”

As an artist, she’s used to her work starting conversations, but in this case the project has led to people making “real emotional” connections.

Part of the rationale for the project is better self-awareness.

“We need to know who we are and whether we’re being authentic in our world,” she says. “And if not, then why not?”

In the process of communicating with a project partner, they can peel away layers of themselves, without revealing their identities. They don’t share their name or any other identifying details.

“They connect more deeply. It seems to happen over and over.”

The topic of self-branding tends to come up between the participants.

“People start the dialogue on branding, which is fantastic.”

Some are very aware of how they brand or identify themselves, and use social media to do it, while others not at all.

“I am hoping to put a show together with the descriptions next to each participant. I’ll include what the partner said about them, and what they said about themselves,” said Bailie.

It may be impossible to be fully anonymous, but most arrive a point where they can step away from a “constructed” identity.

She was hoping that the interactions would be positive and that people could make a meaningful connection. In some cases, the pairing wasn’t quite right.

“But even when they were not successful, the descriptions still matched which is interesting.”

It’s best if the partners never meet in real life or online after the project, she said, and it’s part of the rules.

Baillie doesn’t even know who the participants really are.

Now she is getting ready to open it up again in July to applications for anyone who wants to apply to become a part of the project.

There is a minimum of one email per week required, with no maximum. There are no rules about the content of the communications – whether it’s deep introspection, a digital journal, a poetry exchange, or a quick daily check in – that’s between the participants and their partners.

Bailie said she will not share any of the communications, without their permission, and conducts a short survey at the end of the experience.

She’s an artist who has worked in film, images and new media with a particular interest in the process of identity creation and self-categorization. Baillie has a B.F.A. from Emily Carr University, and her work has been shown across Canada and the United States.

See more at http://theanonymousproject.com or to apply to participate email to info@kristabailie.com

 

Just Posted

Shelter access moving to the side of the building in Chilliwack on the heels of complaints

Renos to The Portal will see new bunk beds, indoor washrooms and a review of security and cleaniness

Drivers warn of slippery conditions on the Coquihalla

Snow is falling at the Summit of the Coquihalla

Rotarians digging in for new tree planting project

Trees will be a way to honour loved ones through Chilliwack

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

UFV bans cash after accepting 17 payments over $10k last year

Ban on cash payments follows report warning of potential money laundering through universities

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Man found dead inside Richmond business, IHIT investigating

Police believe the incident was not random

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Most Read