The Confessions Project, an installation by Vancouver artist Jamie Smith, taps into people’s desire to share their secrets by taking people’s anonymous confessions and turning them into art. Smith’s most recent exhibition was at the Crystal Gallery in Whistler, B.C.
[column size=”one-third”] Smith’s project is just one of many initiatives documenting anonymous confessions. Projects such as PostSecret and apps such as Whisper show us that people have a desire to unburden themselves. When people confess, they feel a sense of relief. This has physiological benefits, including improved mood, less anxiety, and reduced physical tension.
Technology is another reason that anonymous confessions are becoming so popular. Where once, people’s confessions were confined to face-to-face interactions, people now have the power to share with complete strangers. The internet lends itself well to anonymity, and websites such as Simply Confess or the Facebook group UBC Confessions have taken advantage of that.
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Why I confess
Smith didn’t have to look far for people willing to give their confessions. She started with her friends and the project grew from there. People were eager to share their secrets primarily for the sense of release they got. Others share their confessions simply because it is “the thing to do”.
Why I listen
The Confessions Project drew in a crowd of roughly 50 people. They came for many reasons, but everybody felt a connection with some of the confessions. When you read a confession, you are connecting with a stranger who may have the same thoughts and feelings as you do.