Miranda July writing on her stove was the funniest thing I saw on the Internet in 2007. She started by using the top of her refrigerator as a dry-erase board. It didn’t go well.
So she switched to her stove. Trust me. Click on that link and keep clicking through the photos. There has been no better representation of feeling nervous.
These pictures are taken from the website of her collection of short story collection No One Belongs Here More Than You, and in them is the essence of Miranda July’s style: a quirky, deeply emotional engagement with the absurdity of being human and the longing for connection. Like the No One Belongs Her More Than You website, her art projects have often taken the idea of “connecting” digitally beyond the realm of 0s and 1s and into something fundamentally, tenderly, weirdly human though participatory art projects. Here’s a peek into the brilliant world of Learning to Love You More, where Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher posted tasks for people to complete and upload online. Imagine views from the tops trees around the world, pencil drawings of scenes from movies that made people cry (Friday Night Lights, ET, The Notebook…)
And perhaps you’ve heard of the Somebody app, a messaging service where you send a message to a friend and a stranger nearby will deliver it for you in person. (At the moment it’s being updated. Watch that space.) Reply All, a podcast about technology that you have to start listening to, did a fantastic episode that went behind the scenes of one such message. A stranger shows up at a bookshops and tells the message recipient “I f—ing love you” and walks away. They interview the sender, the messenger and the recipient and a story of a heartbreak and healing unfolds.
So, if you’re just about to crack open The First Bad Man, lucky you. Like all of her other projects, it has left me wandering around with her words in my mouth. I found myself walking home from bunch muttering the words Kubelko Bondy, as I thought about Cheryl Glickman, July’s 43-year-old childless protagonist who has turned living alone into an efficient art; her unwanted houseguest Clee, a slovenly 20-year old hottie with smelly feet and the daughter of her bosses at Open Palm, a self-defence non-profit in Southern California. Kubelko Bondy. Kubelko Bondy. I wonder about the science of color healing, the ethics of love and wide age gaps, the imaginary conversations we have with people we’ve never met and the games adults play. Dive in and watch Cheryl’s strange, ordered world get turned even more topsy-turvy.
This post originally appeared on Audibleblog.co.uk. Lead image from Hello Giggles.