True Blue Love is a mobile phone social networking experience, designed to explore the politics behind intimate phone-based relations.
Inspired by a trip to Tokyo, I was struck by the ability of the mobile phone to enhance polygamous activity through non-verbal and thus unnoticeable phone text messaging.
True Blue Love is a networked real-time experience which is intended to run in parallel with another event – it should preferably not be the participants' only focus. The ideal scenario would be to have it concurrent with a cocktail party, book launch, workshop or other such gathering of a variety of people.
Each person is supplied with a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone running custom client software.
Each participant enters into the program the characteristics of their ideal sexual mate, chosen from a series of preset selections. While the program is running, every time another phone comes within range, a “love” metric is calculated which is a representation of how close the incoming person matches the participant's ideal mate. If the match is close, the phone will emit a raucous mating call that will be unique to that participant.
The concept behind the triggered mating calls is to attempt to undermine the silent technology of messaging and email with vocal communication that expresses the user's desires through a public broadcast, a broadcast that harks back to more primitive exchanges. The ridiculous sounds should function as social ice-breakers, and the unwilling couple may want to discuss what it is that they have in common that triggered the noise.
The original installation was built in C++ using the Symbian Series 60 mobile phones.