Date: 2003-05
Project Type: Moving Image

Launch Project Launch Project

Exercise for Motomichi Nakamura's

Bcc (Blank carbon copy)


Through metaphor and experimental narrative, Motomichi Nakamura’s episodic flash animation Bcc explores the possibilities and also the dangers inherent in wireless communication. In one animation, hands touching on a train symbolizes the connections people are able to make online—connections they might otherwise not have found offline. In the other three animations, Nakamura questions how the web services that provide networked communication —be they email, music downloading, or social networking (see glossary) —can infringe on one’s privacy.


This exercise should encourage students to think about networked social interactions: How do different technologies shape their relationships with their peers and families? What are the issues surrounding privacy online?


Bcc contains four different animations. To play the animations, click on the hands in the opening screen.


  1. Warm-Up Activity (5 min):

    The educator should facilitate a group discussion. Suggested questions could include:

    1. What are the ways you communicate remotely? Telephone, email, SMS (see glossary), social networking software, such as MySpace or Xanga?
    2. How do you communicate differently over each of these devices or web services? For example, you have to communicate with very few words while SMS text messaging and social networking software allows you to create a personal profile.
    3. How are these interactions different from “in person” communication?
  2. Play (15min):

    Students view Bcc.

  3. Follow-Up Exercise (10 min):

    The educator should facilitate a group discussion. Suggested questions could include:

    1. What was the first (second…) animation about?
    2. Is the message about online communication positive, negative, or neutral? What is the mood of Bcc?
    3. How does the artist portray privacy?
  4. Activity (20 min):

    Separate the class into small groups. Students should interview each other with the following questions. In the last 5 minutes of class, 1-2 representatives from each group should present a “snapshot” of their group’s opinion on privacy.

    1. Do you use the Internet or mobile phones to communicate with friends and family?
    2. On a scale from 1-10, how concerned are you about your personal privacy with these technologies?
    3. Do you think that popular fears around privacy are overhyped or reasonable?
    4. How much information do you feel comfortable sharing? Where would you draw the line?