Should it surprise anyone that Miranda July—the Queen of Quirk—made a performance art-cum-messenger app? Released today, Somebody is a free app where users send messages not to friends, but to nearby Somebody users who act as human surrogates to deliver verbal messages in person to the desired recipient.
In an accompanying short film that premiered at the Venice Film Festival (above), the app is introduced through a crying woman who sends a breakup text to her boyfriend. The scene cuts to a park where a third guy gets a notification on Somebody that says "Look for Caleb" with an image of the soon-to-be heartbroken young man. The surrogate walks up to Caleb and relays the crushing message while faux-crying (plus an awkward pause where he forgets a line). "Texting is tacky. Calling is awkward. Email is old," explains a press release, so naturally sending human avatars to break up with our partners is the future of communication.
Made in support with Miu Miu, July describes the app as a "far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and conversation about the value of inefficiency and risk." Furthermore, "Somebody twists our love of avatars and outsourcing—every relationship becomes a three-way." If you're into that kind of uninhibited utopia, the app's hotspots include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New Museum, and other cultural centers. For better or worse, we couldn't imagine a more July-friendly tech project, though we're still not any closer to understanding what her whole deal is.
Find out more about Somebody and download it over on the project's website.