Dalila Ali Rajah
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Live Grindr Conversations on Display — for Art

DriesInstallation 633 0

A public art installation in Berlin is projecting Grindr conversations onto a giant screen and has sparked an uproar about what's really private on the mobile dating app.

For the piece — titled "Wanna Play?" — artist Dries Verhoeven sits inside a glass case and talks with men on Grindr while simultaneously projecting their interactions onto large screens. The whole thing is also live-streamed online. 

The art website Hyperalleric called the piece a "mistake," with Stephen Truax writing, "When I visited the installation today, there were no projections in the glass container. The artist sat alone, behind a transparent gossamer curtain. He was talking on his cell phone, his back to the audience. A pane of glass had been shattered where one viewer had thrown a rock into it. Perhaps the weight of his mistake has finally set in for Verhoeven."

Verhoeven answered the criticism in a Facebook post that notes none of the men's faces are recognizable because the images are distorted when projected, and that their Grindr nicknames aren't displayed, just the conversations. 

"I find it regrettable that people actually feel their privacy has been infringed upon," he wrote. "I find the opposition exemplary in a time in which we, as homosexuals, are once again hiding and choosing to express our sexual feelings in (apparent) anonymity. That anonymity is, I believe, a myth. Everyone who loads Grindr or a comparative app. on their smartphone can see the photos and profiles."

Read his complete response on the following page.


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