Somewhere Out There, a Sculpture Is Surfing Tinder

Tully Arnot, Lonely Sculpture (2014), a mechanical finger that endlessly approves potential Tinder matches.
Tully Arnot, Lonely Sculpture (2014), a mechanical finger that endlessly approves potential Tinder matches.

Tinder users beware: your next match could very well be Lonely Sculpture, a new technologically-advanced artwork made up of a mechanical finger that surfs the popular dating app on an iPhone.

Anyone who has ever used the almost mindlessly-enjoyable dating service knows that swiping left and right to approve or reject potential mates can easily become rote, an almost mechanical action—but there was still the basic assumption that a real, live human being was on the other end, swiping right back. This piece, by Australian artist Tully Arnot, has effectively destroyed that notion.

Perfectly timed to allow the silicone finger to continuously approve a never-ending stream of potential matches, the sculpture calls into question our increasingly digitized networks of relationships, illustrating how communicating via machine strips our interactions of personality and individuality.

Continually tapping yes for each and every profile, Lonely Sculpture is a reflection of both our desire for human contact, and of the isolating nature of social media networks and online dating. As we become more and more dependent on technology, the lines between man and machine are blurred.

Tinder and the art world have intersected before: earlier this year, artist Anna Gensler, tired of fending off dating creeps from the app, immortalized the worst offenders with a series of unflattering drawings (see “Artist Gets Revenge By Reverse-Objectifying Online Dating Creeps“), while a Tumblr titled “Tinder Guys Posing With Art” documented the growing trend of guys featuring famous artworks in their profile pictures (see “Tinder Users Appropriating Art For Sexting“).

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