Quarantine ruthlessly exposes most people to digital life. Under constant surveillance of the Zoom camera, the home which is meant as a personal space is compelled to be the background that is broadcasted to a professional circle. The computer, having ascended to the most valuable household asset that connects the quarantined individual to a larger world, occupies the center of the home and divides the room into two parts – where the camera faces and where the camera doesn’t; the conscious space versus the primitive space. The part of the home that is faced by the computer camera is the image-making spot, where the furniture, objects, decoration, and the owner’s own face are exquisitely curated. In this part of the home, the owner is self-conscious of the invasion of the digital public into the spatial private. The camera lens enables the enacting of the owner’s self-concept in the modern context.
The counterpart of the camera’s partition generates another kind of home-living ecology, one without self-consciousness, without curation, or the precaution of surveillance. On the back of the computer, the owner’s personal hobbies and private activities unfold in the psychological security of not being viewed. The primitive space hosts activities and objects in the owner’s private life in an incomplete action or state in progress. It does not need to be curated, professional, or in a complete state. The two opposing perspectives constitute the modern quarantined person’s home, as home is increasingly multifunctional between gazing and being gazed upon.