New App ‘Performr’ Wants to Be Like ‘Grindr’ for Artists

The logo for the Performr app. Photo: courtesy Performr.

The latest smart phone app, Performr, may sound like an exhibitionist spin off of gay hook-up app Grindr or its straight counterpart, Tinder. In truth, it adapts the well-known dating platform to connect artists with audiences looking to go art-cruising.

Performr is produced by Brighton-based LGBT cultural event producer Pink Fringe, with funding from the Arts Council England. Developed in conjunction with artist Brian Lobel and Brighton-based app builder Surface Impression, and designed to work seamlessly with other popular apps such as FaceTime and Snapchat, the app lets you watch a live performance in the palm of your hand, or can set you up with an in-person event.

According to a Guardian article by Pink Fringe producer David Sheppeard, “some performances will be playful, others more sexual; some may result in an in-person meet-up between artist and audience, while others remain exclusively as an exchange over the phone.” He envisions users video chatting across the Atlantic for one exchange, and being invited “to a church for a mysterious sensual performance” in another.

If it sounds like potential stalker fodder, rest assured that the app features a “block” function to fend off creepers.

The app will be launched at the Brighton Fringe arts festival (May 3–June 1), with commissioned app performances from performers and artists including Scottee and Stacy Makishi.

While it is yet to the be seen if the popularity of dating apps will translate over to the art world, Pink Fringe believes that performance art will increasingly need to “reflect the way that young people are embracing technology… Otherwise it risks becoming an artform increasingly detached from contemporary culture.”

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