Somebody

Miranda July & Prada

An app made with Miranda July and Prada to create a new kind of social messaging service.

See the project

We worked closely with artist Miranda July, designer Thea Lorentzen and Prada/Miu Miu to create a new location-aware social messaging service. Somebody puts a new twist on our reliance on digital communication and outsourcing, transforming every one-to-one exchange into a three-way. A beta of the iPhone app is now available for free download in the App Store.

When you send your friend a message through Somebody, it doesn't go directly to them, but to the Somebody user closest by. This person -- probably a stranger -- delivers the message verbally, acting as your stand-in. The app launched on Wednesday at the Venice Film Festival along with a short companion film, part of Miu Miu’s Women’s Tales. Since Somebody is brand new, early adopters are integral to its creation. The most high-tech part of the app is not in the phone, it’s in the users who dare to deliver a message to the stranger. “I see this as a far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and conversation about the value of inefficiency and risk,” says July.

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 Somebody hotspots so far include Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The New Museum, Yerba Buena Center for The Arts, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Museum of Fine Art, The Walker Art Center, and Museo Jumex. Museum-goers are invited to send and deliver messages in these spaces where they are likely to be around other users.

To view the launch film, download the app and get more information, please visit somebodyapp.com.

Credits

Thea Lorentzen

  • Designer