Artist defends projecting Grindr chats from unsuspecting men into public streets

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An artist has rejected criticism of a stunt in which he projected his flirty Grindr chats with unsuspecting men onto a wall in a public street.

Berlin-based artist Dries Verhoeven came under fire yesterday for streaming ‘non-sexual’ conversations with men onto the side of a building in a busy public square without their consent.

Some of the men who unwittingly had their flirty chats made public attacked Mr Verhoeven for the “humiliating” experience, which ran the risk of outing people, while Grindr condemned it as “an invasion of user privacy and a potential safety issue”.

However, Mr Verhoeven claimed: “It is unfortunate that opposition has arisen surrounding my project ‘Wanna play?’.

“In order not to embarrass the men I make their profile photos unrecognisable using a ‘röntgen effect’.

“The chat history is displayed without showing a nickname. The chance that men are recognised by someone who had not expected them on the forum is thereby extremely small.

“I find it regrettable that people actually feel their privacy has been infringed upon.

“I find the opposition exemplary in a time in which we, as homosexuals, are once again hiding and choosing to express our sexual feelings in (apparent) anonymity.”

He added that the project would be continuing regardless, saying: “If men do not want to take part I am fully aware they can block me.”