Technology is often criticized for driving a wedge between humans. Could it also mend the rift?
Filmmaker, author and performance artist Miranda July has developed a new app that gets volunteer strangers to deliver messages on another person’s behalf.
Although the Somebody app is not exactly a mend in the rift — more like a baste in a ripped seam — it does get one human to talk and interact with another.
July told FastCo Create that the idea came to her months when she met programmer Andrew Badr, who offered to develop a digital project for her. Among several ideas brainstormed, the app was the most exciting, but Badr wasn’t able to pull it off with his own team. Around the same time fashion brand Miu Miu invited July to make a short film of her choosing. July pitched a film about the hypothetical app with the caveat that Miu Miu would help fund development of a real one.
You can see the short film, which screened at the Venice Film Festival, below.
The day it was launched, Somebody had 100,000 downloads and more than 20,000 signups. Because message senders can request that the delivery person relay the message with a specific emotion, it seems to appeal to people who like to perform. Think of it as message app meets performance art.
“When I deliver the message,” July said, ” I try to do it with such naturalistic gravitas that it maybe gets uncomfortable.”
Awkwaaaard. In fact, that might strange enough to get us all talking to one another again, don’t you think?
Credit: Somebody and Miu Miu via Youtube