My visits to the 2012 Artomatic in Crystal City got me thinking about the concept of sharing in the age of social media. First, I came across a display called The Moments Project, in which friends of the artist and visitors to the exhibit were asked to detail a specific moment in their lives. Then, of course, was the appearance by Frank Warren, who founded PostSecret at an Artomatic 7 years ago when he printed up several hundred blank self-addressed postcards and asked people to write out a secret and decorate it. Warren has received 500,000 such secrets and counting since then, and makes appearances around the world.
Obviously, in the age of Facebook and Twitter, we have no shortage of people sharing things about themselves, mostly, critics point out, trivia, such as the hamburger just eaten or the great shoes seen online. But with anonymity comes the deeper revelations, the admissions that would truly cement a personal relationship if they were shared. Isn’t it ironic that at the moment in our cultural history when we spend such enormous amounts of time sharing trivia with our name attached to it is also the time during which anonymous but truly personal sharing seems to be increasingly popular?