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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Miranda July's New App: Let a Stranger Verbally Deliver your Text Message

Posted By on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 12:25 PM

click to enlarge YOUTUBE/SOMEBODY
  • YouTube/Somebody

What if someone sent you a text message and it arrived in person, delivered by a stranger, with the works — crying, hand holding, and colorful language. This may seem like some weird idea for a movie — and it is that — but it's also a very-real app. You can send and deliver these in-person text messages in San Francisco through Miranda July's Somebody App

We've become accustomed to Miranda July's public-involved art pieces, it was just last year we opted into her email exchange between famous people and their friend and families on various life topics titled "We Think Alone," but you may be more familiar with her 2005 full-length film Me and You and Everyone We Know. And this app, and accompanying short film, are very much July — the film is a good place to start in understanding this odd app.

The short film starts out with a freckle-faced, red-headed teenage girl sending her boyfriend a break-up message while he readies a picnic (presumably for the two of them) in a park; a nearby "somebody," in this case an athletic black man, receives the text for Caleb, along with his image, and proceeds to sit down at the edge of the blanket and (through fake tears) read her message. The movie continues on from there, unrolling features of the app as it goes, such as rating the message delivery-person, and including items the message delivery-person should do, such as fist bump, hug, and even kiss, the friend/lover/enemy you're sending the message to.

Obviously you can't send an in-person message to your friend white-water rafting through Alaska, you have to look for the "hot spots" where those who are willing to deliver messages are stationed. In S.F. there's currently only one hot spot for people to receive these in-person messages: the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, but — if you're willing to deliver messages, and others around you are as well — you can create new hot spots in the City.

If you're interested in checking it out, you can download the app at the Apple Store for free. We did, now we're just figuring out what to say and to whom.

We also highly suggest you check out the accompany short film "Somebody" before you send the message, it provides a nice summary of her artistic style and the project.

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About The Author

Mollie McWilliams

Mollie McWilliams

Mollie is the Web Editor and has been with SF Weekly since 2010.


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