Naomi Washer

Naomi Washer is a writer, artist, and flâneuse based in Lower Manhattan, NY. She currently writes Screendive, a weekly newsletter on films and the creative process.

Naomi’s first memory of the internet, from the early 1990s, is that it existed in a separate room: “It lived in the room across the hall from the room where I based my existence and was therefore separate from me. It was something I could play with for up to an hour a week, the way I played with my stuffed animals and my swing set. I played a lot more with my stuffed animals and my swing set than the internet. I was always reading books and was very, very rarely “on” the internet. It was just something that was there, over there, on the periphery.”

Her childhood home was a split-level ranch on Grande Avenue in a small, diverse suburban town: “It looked exactly like all the other split-level ranches on Grande Avenue, but it wasn’t exactly like them on the inside, was it. No, of course it wasn’t. We’re none of us exactly alike on the inside, are we. I began life in a small room on the top floor that was filled with primary colors, and I played at life in that room, I played “school” and “house” the way all children do, and in this way I pressed up against the edges of fiction and reality. Later on, when my older sister went away to school, she gifted me her room. That was special, wasn’t it. Yes, it was. So many more possibilities opened up when I moved to that room. The room existed on its own floor, a few steps down from the living room and on the same level as the one-car garage. The room was a little sunken, wasn’t it, so that when I stood in front of the windows, the lower half of my body was underground while the upper half of my body rose up a little above the grass of the backyard. In this way, the room felt like a secret. It was half hidden, and therefore somewhat secret. I filled the room with art and books and music, music that existed on CDs which I played on the CD player, pressing play and stop and pause over and over.”

Her best friend is the artist and writer Shelby Shaw, who is not on social media.

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