Miranda July Wants You to Text ‘Somebody’

miranda july

Filmmaker, actor, artist and writer Miranda July can now add “techie” to her hat rotation.

The Los Angeles-based eccentric has created a new social media app, which she calls Somebody. And it’s about as awkward as you’d expect a Miranda July project to be.

According to W Magazine, July had an idea that she began to obsess over: “I’d been telling everyone about it, and trying to figure it out how to get it made.”

The idea is simple, for a Miranda July project, anyway. Using Somebody, the app sends your text to another person other than whom it was intended for. Instead, it goes to the next nearest person. The onus is then on that person—a potential stranger—to deliver the text in real life to your recipient. How they know who you are isn’t clear, and probably part of the goal. Standing inside a crowded venue could mean walking up to a dozen strangers before finding the correct recipient.

“The app makes people do things they normally wouldn’t do,” July told W. “It can get outrageous. I do like the fact that it creates these ephemeral experiences, but I also hope that some people will document their message deliveries, just so I can see them.”

If it doesn’t sound all that awkward, just imagine, for example, Miranda July walking up to you and shouting “LOL!” in your face. Out of context (in response to a funny kitty picture you texted your BF) it would seem strange, if not downright scary. But that’s just July’s point and her hopes of bridging our real life worlds with the tech bubbles we all live inside. Just how weird can we get? For July, it seems there are still no limits.

The project is sponsored by Miu Miu and presented by the New Museum and you can snag the app on iTunes.

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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Image: Cameron Wittig

Jill Ettinger

Jill Ettinger is a Los Angeles-based journalist and editor focused on the global food system and how it intersects with our cultural traditions, diet preferences, health, and politics. She is the senior editor for sister websites OrganicAuthority.com and EcoSalon.com, and works as a research associate and editor with the Cornucopia Institute, the organic industry watchdog group. Jill has been featured in The Huffington Post, MTV, Reality Sandwich, and Eat Drink Better. www.jillettinger.com.