Grindr Condemns Dutch Artist Live-Broadcasting Explicit Sex Chats In Public

Dries Verhoeven, a 38-year-old gay Dutch artist who is publicly broadcasting his intimate Grindr chats with local Berliners, is drawing anger from locals he has humiliated and has been accused of “entrapment” by Grindr.

Verhoeven describes his art project called ‘Wanna Play?’ in more detail on his website:

“Wanna Play?” is a social experiment. For 15 days my life will only take place online. I will contact men in my vicinity and attempt to induce them into visiting me to satisfy my nonsexual needs. In return, I offer the same. I will play chess with them, have breakfast, make pancakes, trim nails, we’ll shave one another or read to one another from our favourite books. I see this container as a research laboratory in which I will investigate the degree to which the internet can serve as a new meeting point. We will put Grindr to a real test. Can we free ourselves from the existing templates and come up with new strategies for meeting with a man who is nearby? Or will I simply be blocked by the men in my vicinity? I see the glass container as a materialized chat box. The screen of my smartphone will be visible on a large LED panel. To avoid immediately bringing on the wrath of a whole community, the men’s faces will be unrecognizable, but the conversations can be followed word for word.

Verhoeven has already managed to piss off several local Berliners who feel they have been publicly humiliated by him, as SameSame reports:

One particularly annoyed Grindr user wrote on Facebook that the artist had not mentioned to him that he was doing a project, and when he turned up to the square he was shocked to find his messages had been shown in public.

“Consider what it would feel like,” he wrote, “to walk into a public space looking for an address of a person you are meant to have a private encounter with, only to see your picture and your words projected onto a wall with a large group of people watching and reading, many of them pointing and laughing. People called my name!”

Another annoyed commenter added: “This is completely disgusting and not related to art at all.”

A third: “Your project is extremely exploitive and cynical, putting people’s privacy and safety at risk.”

Grindr is accusing the artist of entrapment for luring the ‘hook-up’ app’s users under false pretenses:

“While Grindr support the arts, what Dries Verhoeven is doing by luring Grindr users under false pretenses is entrapment. This is an invasion of user privacy and a potential safety issue. “We encourage other users to report his profile by using the ‘flag’ function on our app, so we can take action to ban the user. Together, we will work to keep these users out of our Grindr community.”

Verhoeven has responded to the public outrage with these Facebook posts today:

Verhoeven is also live-broadcasting his chats online for the world to watch his art spectacle.

[H/T: Towleroad]