The Cupcake Project
web-based performance work
The Cupcake Project was a web-based performance work that was performed by Jill Miller from 1999-2001. For two years, the artist infiltrated Yahoo Clubs fetish sites and posed as a schoolgirl looking for friends. Cupcake instant messaged with her friends for several hours a day, swapping stories and photos, and archiving all communications with the club members. The fetish clubs were not traditional "sex" clubs; there was no nudity or overtly sexual photos. Some of the fetish topics were: balloon popping, squashing food between toes, wedgies, sneezing, bandages and casts, android and doll-like women, menstruation, diaper-wearing, and stuffed animals, to name a few.
essence, these communities were centered around the exchange of deeply
private obsessions in a purely anonymous environment. The communities
were created, maintained and shared by people who knew each other only
through fictionalized screen names and constructed identities. The anonymity
of the internet provided a shroud for individuals looking for kinship
with others who share similar secrets. These people, publicly sharing
their personal and intimate fixations, inspired the creation of The
Cupcake Project. The goal of the project was to examine our notions
of privacy in public spaces and to explore the idea of "community"
as it develops between individuals who have never met in "real"