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.

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

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Madalyn Clempson, 18, of Chilliwack sings ‘Hiney Yamin Ba-im.’ She won the Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music award at the Performing Arts BC Virtual Provincial Festival. (YouTube)
Chilliwack youth bring home awards from provincial performing arts festival

Chilliwack’s 18-year-old Madalyn Clempson ‘a bit stunned’ to have won Intermediate Vocal Canadian Music

These three kittens, seen here on Thursday, June 10, 2021, are just some of many up for adoption at the Chilliwack SPCA. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Three kittens at the Chilliwack SPCA

Kittens were in ‘rough shape’ when they came into the Chilliwack SPCA, now ready for adoption

Jacqueline Pearce and Jean-Pierre Antonio received the BC Historical Federation Best Article Award on Saturday for their story about translating haiku written in the Tashme internment camp.
Article chronicling haiku in Japanese internment camp near Hope wins award

Tashme Haiku Club’s work was preserved and recently translated, authors write

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Chilliwack family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read