FREYA: What does privacy look feel and sound like – Jonathan

Jonathan’s Private Thoughts

I find it intriguing to read the notes with Jonathan’s private thoughts at the start of the film.  ‘What if no one is watching me?’ he asks.

Normally creating theatre is about being watched by others, whilst displaying emotions that create actions, and vice versa.  Jonathan is an actor / theatre maker and therefore someone seeking to show something that is watchable and watched by others.   Had he not been an actor, would he still want to be watched? Most people have a need to be seen in some way or other.  One of the most, if not the most, effective way to do this is obviously through the Internet.   With the click of a button Jonathan and the rest of us can go global. Going global is a thought that greatly appeals to my Inner On-line Ego.

Our fears often link to our desires, some say that what we fear, we also desire. Contrary to his concern of possibly not being watched, Jonathan reveals a ‘Fear of being watched’.  It captures the polarities of desire.

There can be something unnerving about people watching you.  When do we like it?  At what point does it feel invasive?

Jonathan says he makes theatre because with this he confronts his own fear and obsessions in disguise.  He may well think he is in disguise, but his show ‘Reykjavik’ is self-biographical and even though he’s changed names, Reykjavik is actually a very small place. If we went there and asked a few questions of a few people, I’m sure we could quite easily piece together his personal history, alternatively we could go on-line and check it out.   If you go and see his show, you’ll get a good idea of what some of Jonathan’s emotional journeys are about.  As a member of the audience at the Edinburgh Festival it was intriguing to learn more about Jonathan’s personal history, fear and obsessions.

Jonathan’s presentation at the workshop focused on presenting 10 thoughts and anecdotes on technology, privacy and visibility / invisibility and related these to his own experience.  I really enjoy listening to his thoughts; they are thought provoking.  From the 10 thoughts you can also learn more about Jonathan and how he operates. Very interesting.

Why is it interesting finding out more about Jonathan?  I don’t have a crush on him, no – it’s not that.  Our joint history is that he has been my clown teacher, director and a non-active Facebook friend.  Due to this, I feel he knows a little bit too much about the private me, for my comfort zone.  So knowing more about Jonathan just balances thing out a bit.  Its easy, his personal revelations are to be found in his work, he’s put it out for the public to see.  It cannot be classified as snooping, finding out more about Jonathan.

So, Jonathan’s 10 points.  Some quick thoughts from me on them:

1.            I thought his first example of burying a birthday invitation that didn’t compost a great one.  It was funny as well as touching to think of little Jonathan being found out and having to apologise to his friend.

More worrying is the message that: ‘what we think we’ve buried in life, inevitably comes back to haunt us.’

Maybe now with on-line sharing of information, bad things will not return to haunt us, as they will actually never go away.  Burying unpleasant stuff will no longer be an option – it will all be out there. We can relax with the certainty that there is absolutely nothing to be done about it.

2.             OK, I can just about go with the idea that kitted up with

all our devises; we may come across as a different species, particularly on a Monday morning in London, that is.

3.      About social networking:  Jonathan asks is it ‘Just being a little unsocial’ or actually being an ‘old person’ who can’t cope with this?

Late thirties, I think, is a youngish age, without actually being very old. Maybe it’s more of an antisocial thing for Jonathan.

4.a.   Camera-phone:  I really thought I needed it, but I didn’t.  I never managed to work out how to transfer my photographs from the phone to my computer (I may have lost the lead somewhere or other), so now I carry a separate camera to phone.  This works fine.

4.b.   That thing of being constantly accessible is definitely not in our best interest.   Why should we always be available to everyone?  ‘Where were you? You didn’t answer your phone? ‘  ‘I was in the bathroom’.  Actually that is no longer a good excuse not to answer the phone, being in the bathroom. I’ve heard many people go to the bathroom and answer the phone or make a call. Do you think this is socially acceptable? I find it deeply disturbing to hear someone flushing the toilet at the end of our conversation.

3.            I really love the idea of having a phone that shows the

star signs, and nearly got an Iphone for this purpose.  Thank god, I didn’t.

4.            Its fun to other Google other people.  Particularly if you fancy them. In Norway you can also find out how much your neighbours earn.

5.             I have a shredder for any paper based evidence of my name, bank details, little notes I’ve made to myself, yes basically anything that can be traced back to me goes straight in the shredder. Bzzzzzzzz, and away it goes.  The sound actually makes me feel quite safe, good, in control.  I spend quite a lot of time shredding.  I know I can protect myself from paper based identity theft.    That, at least, is something.

6.            Well, I don’t really know what to say about Jonathan’s little Talisman.

7.            The thing about people not having cash is becoming a problem for street performers.  It would be useful to always have some cash on you for this purpose.

8.              Currently without Internet connection where I’m living in  France, I spent most of yesterday running around trying to borrow different people’s connections.    I felt a bit desperate, keenly eying up their computer when let into their home.  Constant accessibility to the Internet brings a different dimension to my life; basically it’s easier to go on-line.  The benefit of not having constant accessibility, is that I no longer feel the need to go on-line all the time: first thing before brushing my teeth, after breakfast, before lunch, after lunch, the afternoon tea time check, early evening, before bedtime and in the middle of the night, just in case.  Global connections, can one do without them all the time?  At first I felt worried I was missing out on something, now I feel better about sleeping through the night.

10.         I’ll leave this one for you.  Let me know what you think.


Next week I’ll be writing about Rika Deyricke presentation