Miranda July on Killing Somebody / Artsy

Miranda July at home in Los Angeles. December 19, 2014. Portrait of Miranda July by Elizabeth Weinberg.

Miranda July at home in Los Angeles. December 19, 2014. Portrait of Miranda July by Elizabeth Weinberg.

For the past year, Miranda July’s app Somebody has facilitated the transmission of messages to people you know via strangers. Type a note into the app—with instructions regarding how the message should be conveyed, if you wish—and another user will be sent on a mission to find your friend and deliver it verbally. The app was created with the intention of eliminating the disconnection, dissociation, and alienation that’s often part and parcel of  the digital age. But this Halloween, two iterations later, July is killing Somebody off. I stopped by the artist’s L.A. studio to find out why.

Alicia Eler: When Somebody launched, it felt like a big moment. What’s it been like this past year?

Miranda July: It was a really steep learning curve. I thought that at some point I would know, you know? I got so much knowledge, and all right up until the very end. If you start an app without knowing what your goal is, you’re already in kind of a weird position. Usually people either know it’s frivolous fun, and it’s a pretty cheap app to make and maintain, or they have an investor—and you wouldn’t have an investor if you didn’t think it was going to make money. And I had, essentially, a patron.

Read the full interview on Artsy: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-miranda-july-on-killing-somebody