from my friend hannah in montreal:
Here's some observations -- sorry they didn't come sooner, hope they're helpful. If you want more, we can do it by phone, maybe.
I didn't actually meet AmyMichael, though I did have email exchanges with himher. I knew about the exchange, and didn't think I'd necessarily have the occasion to interact or experience it, but it turned out otherwise. At the last minute, I wound up in a bind for equipment needed for an exhibition, and cursed myself for not having asked Amy about borrowing something before she left for LA, because I knew if I had, she would have lent it to me. I wrote an email on the chance that she might still have access to it, and at the same time, if she didn't, to see how AmyMichael would play it out. I wrote the email purposefully with this in mind, giving a little more information about my situation than I would usually in order to "help out" MichaelAmy. I was impressed with how heshe wrote back, I could see the style of writing had Amyisms, but I knew it wasn't the authentic she because of some glaring unknowns on hisher part (such as not realizing I was writing from Montreal, not Toronto). Heshe did stay true to Amy form though, and pulled through for me with the wide angle lenses, sending them to the gallery in Ottawa where I was exhibiting.
How did it make me feel? When I realized it was himher, I at first wanted to keep that in mind in my correspondance, but then realized it was more interesting to keep the illusion and not lift the veil. I was impressed with how hershe rose to the occasion, and was happy to have provided himher with a true slice of Amylife -- her crazy friend calling and needing exhibition rescuing.
Gender didn't play out so much, though email is obviously more impersonal. From what I remember, I think I didn't want to call because it would have been harder to keep up the illusion once hearing hisher voice. I remember thinking that even though heshe had well-placed Amyisms in hisher messages (which I noticed and appreciated), they still weren't her -- they were a little abrupt or short. But that can be as much about not wanting to give away hisher lack of information, as it could have been a gender thing. Because I'm no longer in Toronto, Amy and I use email to correspond a little more than just as a messaging system. Trust wasn't really an issue either; when I saw that heshe was responding as Amy, I just went with it.
Curt and Lauren
Amy and Michael
Trailer for Video
Haruko and Melanie
Heather and Sara