Miranda July is at it again with her projects-about-lonely-people antics. This time, the filmmaker-actress-performance artist has created a messaging app called Somebody that provokes interaction between strangers (what else?). “When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it goes — not to your friend — but to the Somebody user nearest your friend,” the press release explains. “This person (likely a stranger) delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in.”
July launched the app — and a 10-minute film to accompany it — at the Venice Film Festival this morning. In the short film, a weeping redhead uses the app to break up with her boyfriend, an old lady heals the bond between two friends, and a waitress proposes to Miranda July.
A selection of art museums across the country have been designated as “Official Somebody hotspots” including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the New Museum (who has co-presented the app as part of its First Look series), the Yerba Buena Center for The Arts, the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Walker Art Center, and Museo Jumex.
“I see this as a far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and conversation about the value of inefficiency and risk,” July said in a statement.