Artist, writer, filmmaker, space faun, and great-eyeball-haver Miranda July has now joined the ranks of the tech bros with her new project "Somebody." It's a smartphone app that's part messaging service, part public performance art project, part social commentary on technology and isolation. You can get an idea of how Somebody works from July's short film (embedded above), which also involves an erotic houseplant.
And here's July's own description, from her press release:
Somebody is a messaging app I made with support from Miu Miu, available in the iTunes store as a free download (iOS). When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it goes — not to your friend — but to the Somebody user nearest your friend. This person (likely a stranger) delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in.
And here's the LA Times:
"I see this as far-reaching public art project," says July in the press release, "inciting performance and conversation about the value of inefficiency and risk."
It is probably also a terrific opportunity to read other people's text messages.
Since the app depends on the geographic proximity of its users, several U.S. museums have signed up as hotspots, where users can send and deliver messages to each other. In L.A., the principal hotspot will be the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (where July is scheduled to give a talk in September).
UGH, it's basically Strangers Bothering You: The App. (I hate talking to people.)
I know July has a sense of humor, so I wonder if she's foreseen this app's greatest potential: AS THE ULTIMATE FART JOKE DELIVERY SYSTEM.
YOU COULD LITERALLY HAVE A STRANGER WALK UP TO ANY OF YOUR FRIENDS AT ANY TIME AND TELL THEM THAT THEY'RE A FEDERAL FART INSPECTOR INVESTIGATING A BUTT SPILL IN THEIR PANTS OR WHATEVER. You could do it to the same person ten times in one day. BRB, gotta go participate in public art.*
*LOLOLOLOLOL PUBLIC FART.