TECH

'Somebody' By Miranda July Is A Messaging App With Added Human Strangers

29/08/2014 10:41 BST | Updated 29/08/2014 10:59 BST

If having the ability to message anyone in the world immediately, without fail and in simple, straightforward language isn't whimsical enough for you, a new app thinks is has the solution.

Somebody is a messaging app with a curious difference: instead of sending messages to your intended recipient directly, it instead sends it to a random stranger in the vicinity of your friend.

The idea is that the stranger picks up the message, looks for the recipient (following your directions) and then delivers it in person.

The app was created by the artist Miranda July, working with Miu Miu, designer Thea Lorentzen and Stinkdigital, and is designed to re-engage people with strangers in a safe setting.

Available now in the iTunes store, the app is described thus:

"Somebody works best with a critical mass of users in a given area; colleges, workplaces, parties and concerts can become Somebody hotspots simply by designating themselves as one (official hotspots on somebodyapp.com).

The most high-tech part of the app is not in the programming, it’s in the users who dare to deliver a message to stranger. In this sense Somebody is a far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and twisting our love of avatars and outsourcing.

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."