When you send your friend a 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. 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.
Miranda July conceived of Somebody in March 2014 and worked with the designer Thea Lorentzen and a team of developers at the award winning Stinkdigital to create the complex, gps-based messaging system. The project was created with support from MIU MIU along with a companion film – part of MIU MIU’s women’s tales series. The app and the movie premiered on august 28th and the launch continues through the fall as museums around the world become somebody hotspots and individuals use the app at home, at school, at work and at night for their own unforeseeable purposes.