© Jessica Barness
Social media and digital interaction have changed the ways we connect with one another. Over the past few decades, personal correspondence has evolved from handwriting on paper to pixels on screens; the former is often considered personal and private, while messages created and transmitted digitally are seen as less personal due to the fact that they are subject to reproduction and can never really be deleted. We are writing more now than we ever have, yet screen correspondence as an everyday social activity may not effectively relay deeper emotions that were once historically expressed on paper.
This digital prototype is my response and a critique, as well as an ongoing inquiry into correspondence, writing and interaction design. I invited writers, poets, designers and artists to collaborate and write a letter to X (which might be me, another person, the universe, etc) that contains content that is, in some way, personal and emotionally driven — the sort of content one might not typically email, text message or post to a social media website.
The interface contains both the original handwritten letters (“censored”) as well as the typed phrasal template version (“opened”). The authors of these letters remain anonymous. Letters made through the site can be saved or printed using the browser. Additional project notes are within the interface.
2018. Exhibited in Her Environment #8: Small Living. Curated by Her Environment (Chicago + NYC). September Gallery and 190 Fairview, Hudson, NY.