For those delicate situations when Snapchat is too intimate yet Secret's too anonymous, magical human and happy-accident enthusiast Miranda July has just released her first app. Called Somebody, the iOS messaging service allows interested parties to act as human conduits for whatever pressing missive you'd like to send.
As seen below in a characteristically twee short film — which was released at the Venice Film Festival today — once downloaded, the app sends your message not to its intended recipient, but to the closest Somebody user nearby. Built-in actions like [hug] and directive like [cry] encourage the messengers to really add feeling to their performance. It's a little like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, except not sinister because this is Miranda July, the artist who brought you the most endearing cybersex scene of all time in You and Me and Everyone You Know.
This isn't July's first work to whimsically link strangers together — her breakout book of short stories No One Belongs Here More Than You revolved largely around characters colliding through weird happenstance. And though she told Fast Company last year she "has no interest in technology" she's completed a handful of web-based projects including a summer-long newsletter in which she curated personal emails sent to her by celebrities like Lena Dunham, Sheila Heti, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar around a different theme each week.
On the Somebody app's website you'll find more information on the service, including instructions for how to find a hot spot or set up your own — as the artist notes, the app really works best when everyone around you is using it.