Performance artist and filmmaker Miranda July really let her creative liberties go wild with her latest project, a digital app for Miu Miu’s eighth Women’s Tales installment. The multihyphenate gives even James Franco a run for his money in terms of her involvement in the development of the digital tool, and it shows.
The app in question, called Somebody (and free on iTunes today), isn’t practical by any means—but that doesn’t make it any less genius. Here’s how July described it herself in a press release: “When you send your 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.”
It doesn’t make any sense, right? It’s not just us?
Here’s our (attempted) translation: by joining Somebody, you agree to both send and receive messages to the Somebody user that’s in closest geographical proximity to you. The "message" could be a hug or an improvised jig or even a lengthy soliloquy. Thus, Somebody is creating a social network of strangers who want to meet other strangers. Basically.
Like all of July’s work, it’s an exemplary piece of performance art—a head-scratching way to examine digital and IRL communication. And true to form, July and Miu Miu made a short film to demonstrate how Somebody works; it’s set to debut tonight at the Venice Film Festival.
Wrapped your head around it yet? Take a peek at the film below, and download Somebody here.