the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT . . came out this past weekend at SUNDANCE 2018 !!

IMAGE: screengrab Indiewire

“ONDIE TIMONER’S . . . 2009 SUNDANCE GRAND JURY PRIZE-WINNING DOCUMENTARY, ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’, will become a feature film directed by BEN STILLER, starring JONAH HILL as JOSH HARRIS, the dot-com millionaire who carried out a surveillance experiment with 150 residents at a Manhattan hotel amid Y2K panic.
BOLD FILMS will finance the project, which Timoner will produce with Stiller’s RED HOUR FILMS.”

read: BEN STILLER TO DIRECT JONAH HILL in film adaption of ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ / Indiewire, JAN 20, 2018

wow, a lot of people fell off their chairs – when they heard that !!

JONAH HILL . . portraying Josh – is brilliant.
I heard ALFREDO MARTINEZ told someone, if he had his dibs, he’d want BENICIO DEL TORO to play him.
sweet – it is.

and, in typical, ‘provocative JOSH-mode’, which is saying it nicely, Josh immediately emailed me to ask: who I wanted to play myself ? & my real bad hubby, SIMON CERIGO, RIP.
who brought his girlfriend along for the ride, nice move – Simon.

somebody else emailed me & said they hope it’s gonna be a . . comedy ?!!

I hope, not !!
it’s already jam-packed with characters and chaos up the wazoo . .
instead, I hope they play it very straight-up, close to the chest, real down-low, and serious. totally against the grain. I hope they play it . . Shakespearean.
even though it was totally far-out, fast & furious, not to mention wildly hardcore, wildly illegal, eventually getting shut down by the NYPD, the FDNY & FEMA, all 3 !! the personal cost of this visionary quest, was harsh. many of the ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’ participants, including their leader Josh, were burned by their up-close brush – with the . . ‘future’.

taking it down to a very personal level, thanks to 24/7 computer-archived surveillance, I literally got to see my so-called hubby throw me under the bus.

on the bigger picture, Josh . . might be now be called, among a small group of cult cognizanti, the ‘father of social networking’, and the . . ‘Andy Warhol of the web’, but his prey-driven compulsion to intuit & uncover the potential of the new world of ‘online’ . . for both the individual & the culture at large, left him depleted, and broke $$$. the man who mined the social dynamic of the vast unknown that was the web in 1999-2000, was the prob the first to fall victim to it’s peculiar irony: the great social universe vs. primal human personal needs fall-out.

and, of course the biggest tragedy of all, is how the mainstream art world, just dropped the ball on the whole scene.

“hotel”, my foot . . !!
it was in reality, 2 decrepit warehouse buildings, which Josh took over on Broadway at Leonard, on what was then, the outer fringes of sleepy Tribeca. it was open to the public – 24/7. it was party central with free, free-flowing bars, lounges, dance parties, art exhibits & art-in-the making / install & site specific wips. there were hi-end tech and web gaming. the in-house crew, running the parties & producing the shows, of which I was a part, wore custom EXPLODING SKY silk-screened work uniforms. we had a live-in 4 star chef cooking the meals, in the futuristic bubble dining room, that sat 100 easily. there was almost no security, despite being wired 24/7 big-time for video, and definitely no fire escapes. just the way we like it. all up-close, & in-your-face, wild & free. with lots of early 90s start-up money getting thrown around, everywhere & every which way.

“desperate” . . ? I don’t think so.
Josh loved talent, esp. the ‘real real’ !!
people were making more money in those 2 weeks, then they had in the past 5 years.

“hotel” . . ? lordy !!
more of an underground bunker – filled with underground artists, in 1999 there was NO Brooklyn, let alone the Bronx. downtown / including the LES was it, the low-rent land of the hardcore. no wonder, ‘QUIET’ the huge millennial party that birthed ‘WE LIVE In PUBLIC’, exploded into chaos. and, . . brighter than light, insight. for an artist, being there was the chance of a lifetime.
and, at the apex, there was . Josh.
the wonder boy multi-millionaire tech entrepreneur, with lots of money, but limited social skills, and ‘Luvvy’ the clown, his alter ego / sidekick . . as maestro. the nerdy junior high school social scientist & his inner bad boy / calling the shots. directing the games.

if you could keep his fast moving attention, you were in. if you couldn’t – you were out.
if you could flow like mercury, and fly like a bee, all the better.
at ‘Quiet’, we lived in a communal space, which was a joke . . because artists by nature, are so indie, so competitive & plus we were all competing . . against each other for Josh’s time & dough.
non-stop game of musical chairs.

the one rule was: if you left the building, you could not come back. you were out.
sunlight. what’s sunlight ?
personal life ? there was no personal life / there was only . . JOSH-LIFE !!
that was it / that was the mind-set. that was the . . WEB.
or should I say, proto-WWW/WEB.

you may as well have been on a disco-balled space ship heading to Mars.
which was pretty much part of the original scenario from the get-go.
24/7 surveillance didn’t come across as so bad. 24/7 cameras, & the we live in public mindset . . wasn’t really the bad part. even when it was not just being recorded, but playing on screens live – everywhere.

it was more . . the closed-circuit Josh / the mad social scientist/artist & his sidekick Luvvy the Clown . . at the controls, running his ‘social experiment’ / like some mad Wizard of Tech Oz, that was really what made for the intrepid partiers go off the rails.
and break down in tears.
Josh baited, and lured.
“Off to the Interrogation room” / yes .. there was a Nazi-like interrogation room, was basically . . a modern take on: “off with their heads, Alice” in Wonderland.
Luvvy had very little compassion. Josh had even less. the generous art patron had a double life.

he could give, but he could just as easily pull the carpet right out from under you. that was actually an interesting departure for me/ re: collectors who buy art like sheep. I gave him more credit for that, than many others did. bottomline for me was the: the real real survived. to live another day, maybe.
don’t get me started.

“hotel” . . ?
we bunked, piled on top of each other / a sleeping residence for 100, inspired by Japanese pod hotels. if you want to talk, “hotel”. what you really want to say is: beehive.
what you really want to consider, is the ‘singular’ individual vs the web ‘community’.

and, so short story fast. in this way, Josh stumbled upon the . . FUTURE.

it’s name was: SOCIAL NETWORKING.
& it’s twin nano baby siblings, were . . self-recording, & self-publishing.

the dvd cover / logo for . . ‘WE LIVE IN PUBLIC’, 2009.
the seeds of social media / networking . . were sown in a wild underground bunker party thrown by a prey-driven social scientist tech entrepreneur, JOSH HARRIS & played-out by the wildest bad-ass underground artists that he could find, to ring in the Millennial/ year 2000 & boldly usher in the unknown potential of the computer, which at that time, nobody envisioned further than spread sheets, emails, writing that could auto-correct without white-out, and .. porn.

funny, how well it cleaned up !!

9 years later – with the documentary, the cover image says it all.
apparently, new rules of politically-correct / tamped-down social behavior had to evolve to catch up.
well, that was 2009.

it’s now, 2018, only another short 9 year interval later, and seems . .
we’re only humans after all, and . . man can even our President – let loose on twitter.

not to mention:
fake news, bullying, scams, & au contraire: awareness, knowledge.mass information. bad warnings of in-coming missiles. on your phone, at breakfast. in Hawaii.
the sheer availability of information has actually out-run the available solutions.
the new power of group voices have super-ceded the courts. the court of opinion is like an orphan who has finally found their mother 20 years later.
mass waves of protests / based on communal words, sentiments, and hashtags. hopefully for the good / abuse victims getting strength to speak out in numbers. rappers & wrestlers getting taken down by bad behavior endless personal content. reality. IG stories, little kids watching DIY YouTubes of other little kids opening endless tiny ‘presents’. AI. the power of the random, the power of the mass. from digital artist platforms archiving exhibits for eternity, to just plain ole renting your apt on Craigs list.

chaos ? desperation ? ‘Quiet’, ‘We Live In Public’ / year 2000 in an underground bunker in NYC.
surely you . . jest.

the real real artists – are always going to win.

I hope this movie crushes, absolutely crushes, the mainstream art world in this town, and the clueless art critics who missed the ball on ‘QUIET’ – even though it was the biggest & most important art party / installation this town has ever seen.