the ‘situationist’ app for iPhone encourages the art of impromptu encounters

situationist‘, an iPhone app created by UK-based interventionist art duo benrik (ben carey and henrik delehag), uses the built-in framework of mobile networks to turn all the world into a stage for new meetings and surprise encounters, springing out of the the ideas and exercises of the situationist international in the 1960’s.

upon downloading the app and thus joining the impromptu situationist collective, members upload a photo of themselves and select from a list the situations that they would like to have happen to them. from that moment on, any member in the same geographic area as another user is able to suggest a ‘situation’ to him. the two then have five minutes to find one another and complete the task that they have challenged themselves to.

current ‘situations’ range from ‘ask me for my autograph’, and ‘high five me’ to ‘stare me out for 2 minutes’, ‘help me rouse everyone around us into revolutionary fervour and storm the nearest TV station’, and ‘write down your first impression of me and hand it to me’.

benrik: situationist iPhone app from left to right: member profile page; any user can select another in the same area as the target for an impromptu ‘situation’; each user’s history of successful ‘situations’ is recorded

out of safety and privacy concerns, ‘situationist’ is moderated: the possible situations to enact are selected from a list, rather than entered by hand (although users may suggest new actions for possible inclusion). user photos are screened to prevent what benrik coins ‘chatroulette-style exhibitionism’, and any problems can be easily reported.

benrik adds: ‘[the ‘situationist’ application] is a protest against the demonization of strangers encouraged by the media. in a time when strangers are depicted as potential sex offenders and stalkers rather than fellow human beings to join forces with, may it help to fight back!’

benrik: situationist iPhone app left: the list of ‘situations’; right: a ‘situation’ challenge in progress

via fastco