views: 11461

Somebody, a social app by Miranda July

For all phone-social people at the risk of actually being anti-social, here’s an app to bring back good old vulnerability into human transactions. It’s an app, an art project by actress Miranda July and Miu Miu, called Somebody. Somebody lets you send a message to your intended recipient via someone in his/her physical proximity using the same app, located via GPS. What a cool idea!

How does it work? You want to say something to a loved one, but you can’t physically be there. So you compose a message, choose an emotion you want conveyed, look for people in your loved one’s vicinity and send ‘them’ your message. The proxy who has just got your message can, if s/he chooses to, walk over to your loved one and deliver your message in person in the exact emotional tone you chose from the list before sending. You can even float a message if you can’t find proxies that can be picked up by anyone and delivered.

A note on the Somebody website reads:

“The most high-tech part of Somebody is not in the phone, it’s in the users who dare to deliver a message to a stranger. Half-app / half-human, Somebody is a far-reaching public art project that incites performance and twists our love of avatars and outsourcing — every relationship becomes a three-way. The antithesis of the utilitarian efficiency that tech promises, here, finally, is an app that makes us nervous, giddy, and alert to the people around us.”

An idea we find so absurd today could be a great way to revisit ideas of space, privacy, and emotional exclusivity that the Internet both builds and disrupts. Somebody is freely downloadable to iOS users only (not available on Google Play Store yet).  

This video tells you how it works.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.