I’m always trying to get my friends to forward me emails they’ve sent to other people — to their mom, their boyfriend, their agent — the more mundane the better. How they comport themselves in email is so intimate, almost obscene — a glimpse of them from their own point of view. WE THINK ALONE has given me the excuse to read my friends’ emails and the emails of some people I wish I was friends with and for better or worse it’s changed the way I see all of them. I think I really know them now. But our inner life is not actually the same thing as our life on the computer — a quiet person might !!!! a lot. A person with a busy mind might write almost nothing. And of course while none of these emails were originally intended to be read by me (much less you*) they were all carefully selected by their authors in response to my list of email genres — so self-portraiture is quietly at work here. Privacy, the art of it, is evolving. Radical self-exposure and classically manicured discretion can both be powerful, both be elegant. And email itself is changing, none of us use it exactly the same way we did ten years ago; in another ten years we might not use it at all. Thank you to Kareem, Kirsten, Sheila, Danh, Lee, Etgar, Kate, Laura, Lena and Catherine for their daring and diligence.
– Miranda July
*All emails were written prior to the start of this project.
WE THINK ALONE was comissioned by Magasin 3 for a show called On The Tip of My Tongue. A themed compendium of ten emails would arrive every Monday, between July 1 and November 11, 2013, to the inboxes of those who had signed up to receive it. When the final email went out on November 11, 2013, WE THINK ALONE had 104,897 readers from 170 countries. There is no official archive of the emails, other than the collections saved by the subscribers.
Week 1: An Email About Money
Week 2: An Email That Gives Advice
Week 3: An Email That Mentions Barack Obama
Week 4: A Business Email
Week 5: An Email That Includes A Picture of Something You Want
Week 6: An Email To Your Mom
Week 7: An Email That Includes A Dream You Had
Week 8: An Email That Includes A Picture of Art
Week 9: An Email Where You Describe What You’re Working On
Week 10: An Email You Decided Not To Send
Week 11: An Email That Includes A Picture of Yourself
Week 12: An Email With I Love You In It
Week 13: An Email With A Link In It
Week 14: An Email About Being Sad
Week 15: An Email About A Fear
Week 16: An Angry Email
Week 17: An Email That Includes A Song
Week 18: An Email That’s An Apology
Week 19: An Email About The Body
Week 20: An Email About A Problem You’re Having With Your Computer
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is an American writer, filmmaker, and the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
Lena Dunham is an American filmmaker, writer and actress. Her HBO series, Girls, begins its third season next year.
Kirsten Dunst is an American actress. She won the Best Actress Award at Cannes Film Festival for her role in Melancholia in 2011.
Sheila Heti is a Canadian writer. Her most recent book, How Should a Person Be?, was called by Time “among the most-talked-about books of 2012.
Etgar Keret is an Israeli writer and filmmaker and a recipient of the Chevalier Medallion of France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His most recent book is Suddenly, a Knock on the Door.
Kate and Laura Mulleavy, sisters, are American fashion and costume designers. They founded Rodarte in 2005.
Catherine Opie is an American photographer and a Professor of Art at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the 2013 recipient of the Julius Shulman Institute’s Excellence in Photography Award.
Lee Smolin is a Canadian-American theoretical physicist. His book, Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to The Future of the Universe, was published earlier this year.
Danh Vo is a Danish-Vietnamese contemporary artist and the latest recipient of the Hugo Boss Prize. He had a solo exhibition at Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris this spring, and is a participant in this year’s Venice Biennale.
On the Tip of My Tongue
Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
July 1, Aug 8, Sep 13
On the Tip of My Tongue is a series of events and unique projects as well as an exhibition in the usual sense. It includes artworks that point away from the site of the exhibition itself, towards other virtual or parallel existences and experiences. Its intention is to actively expand the structures that surround the usual exhibition situation, and deliberately work with the artworks included, so as to unfix or destabilize the categories of time and space. It aims to trigger situations and experiences that linger as if “just out of reach,” to generate encounters that keep growing – in thought and through conversation – long after each actual event has ended.
Richard Julin is Deputy Director and chief curator at Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall.
Tessa Praun is curator at Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall.
Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall
Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall is a privately funded exhibition venue situated in a 1930s warehouse-building in Stockholm’s Freeport area. With over 1500 square meters of exhibition space, Magasin 3 has, since its opening in 1987, been bringing the work of internationally renowned artists to Stockholm, and introduced these to a Scandinavian audience. The venue places strong emphasis on production by offering invited artists the space, facilities and time to produce new work for the exhibitions in which they participate here. Examples of such production based support include Felix Gonzales-Torres’ Untitled (for Stockholm) (1992), James Turrell’s Dawning (1994), Mona Hatoum’s Undercurrent (2004), Pipilotti Rist’s Gravity Be My Friend (2007) and Anton Henning’s spatial installation Too Much Taste, Skin & Turpentine (2012). Other recent exhibitions at Magasin 3 include Mika Rottenberg, Sneeze to Squeeze (2013), Ai Weiwei (2012), Andrea Zittel, Lay of My Land (2011) and Tom Friedman, Up in the Air (2010).
Magasin 3 also has a collection that includes over seven hundred artworks, many of which are regularly on loan to other museums and institutions all over the world. Magasin 3 produces several yearly exhibitions drawing from the collection. With each new exhibition produced Magasin 3 offers an extensive program of lectures and talks, as well as new publications.