S.M.T.H. (Send Me To Heaven) (2013)
Send Me To Heaven is an app for smartphones that is both incorrigibly idiotic and utterly brilliant. It calls itself a ‘sports game’ and challenges players to hurl their phone as high as they dare, using the device’s sensors to record the height of the throw so you can challenge your friends to beat your score.
Banned by the Apple App Store for «encouraging behaviour that could result in damage to the user’s device”, SMTH is still available for free on the Google Play store. Either Apple cares more about it users’ phones than Google does, or they just trust them less.
Speaking to The Independent, the game’s creator Petr Svarovsky described the game as «far from perfect» but that it «makes people do exactly what I wanted them to: Be funny again. Stop watching small screens, jump around and show some entertaining actions. Be inventive, construct slingshots, make rockets and try to be the best in the world.»
Users who download the app must first agree to a disclaimer confirming that they are playing the game at ‘entirely their own risk’ with instructions for the game offering the following sage advice: “Hints: Be careful not to injure yourself or others. Be always aware that there is enough space above you and around you. Do some training to learn right skills to get best results.”
Svarovsky is somewhat bemused by the attention his game has received: «People come to me with questions: What do you want to say with this? Why do you do that? Is not it pointless? Well, I am here to ask questions, not to answer them. I give this little piece to people and they start to think and ask question: What is a meaning of the game? What is a real thrill? What value has this phone for me?»
Those who want to answer these questions and find out exactly how much value their phone has to them are advised to try their hand at SMTH. Tactics suggested for record-settings scores include a drunken indifference to your phone’s wellbeing and a comprehensive insurance policy.
– James Vincent, 2013
Petr Svarovsky (CH/NO)
Petr Svarovsky lives and works in Oslo, Norway. He focuses on relation between art, technology and consciousness. Petr Svarovsky started his art career in the mid 90’s, when he co-founded ‘Silver,’ a collaborative platform for new media art production. He has worked within the field of interactive sound installations, advanced virtual reality, investigated the Internet as an art medium and utilized mobile phones for art. In 2012 he founded Carrot Pop, a company known mostly for controversial apps. He stopped calling his production art and he developed a number of apps, driving their users into an unusual physical experiences.