Singles Near You is a performative cyborg story for the digital age. Taking inspiration from a day job at a pay-per-minute erotic chat, where sex, identity, and work uniquely collide, this bizarre premise is the starting point for an examination of (self-)image production, consent, and the blurring of work-life boundaries online.
As the sexy singles Helena (38), Michaela (29) or Daniela (28), a chat employee flirts and cybersexts with paying customers, mainly Michaels (45-65) – in chatroom the audience is invited to log into as well, transforming them from art consumers into a different kind of clientele.
What is the value of an (intimate) experience on the internet? How are the boundaries of the self reimagined online? Who is the human behind the machine?
These questions are at the heart of the employee’s conversations with her only confidante – a chatbot created in her own image.
As AI image generators are used as narrative devices and appropriated in a glitched form, Singles Near You hacks its way through the turbo-capitalist internet, finding in moments of system malfunction the possibility of reclaiming the virtual world.
director, performance: Melanie Sien Min Lyn
dramaturgy: Dandan Liu
Set design: Cochon de Cauchemar
Animation: Camilla Smolders
Technical support, video: Gilda Coustier
Double actress: Thu Trang Dong