Amandine Gros


This documentary directed by Ondi Timoner in 2009 profiles Josh Harris, internet pioneer who decided to experiments the effects of technology and media on the development of personal identity. The experience was filmed for more than a decade. The audience has access to his virtual and real world. The fact that his private life has been projected in cinema and can be found on the platform, the first internet streaming TV and now it is possible to found the full documentary on Youtube.

This documentary highlights the role and the power of the camera because it experiments human’s behavior under the influence of the camera. It is a story about humans being which is capting in virtual worlds.


Pietersen G said that “ (Ondi Timoner) his intention with this experiment is to document and archive the self-representation via socially interactive online media.” This documentary represents his subjects by investigating about making a film which can be interpreted as a critique of the cinema.

I quote: “We Live in Public (2009), chooses a “straightforward” or “un-obtrusive” mode of representation with subtle hints of self-reflexivity in her documentation of the social experiments of Internet pioneer, Josh Harris.“ (Pietersen, 2016). On one hand, we can mention that in general, the construction of the documentary can represent the reality authentically, with the representation of the filmmaker and the equipment. On the other hand, it is possible to mention the content of this film which accentuates further about the self-reflexion and demonstrate that the director wants to make the audience conscious of the act of filming.

Finally, for those who believe that We Live in Public can be more than a simple experiment, like a metaphor of the technologies cinema for example. I think and agree that “This is where the technology is taking us; and what’s more, it’s where we want to go.” (Guardian, 2009)  


Nünning,V. (2015). Unreliable Narration and Trustworthiness: Intermedial and Interdisciplinary perspectives. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG

Pietersen, G. (2016); Self-reflexive online documentation in the film Catfish, Four-eyes Monsters and We live in public. Stellenbosch University

We Live in Public: a self-reflexive documentary

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