“This is a rock that smiles It’s a goold apple diamond box shape 4 gift its sexy x cool”. [6] Lindsay Lawson, “Sad Hetero World”, Gillmeier Rech, Berlin, December 6, 2013–January 17, 2014.

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"The Match algorithm should have figured out that I don't want a 45-year-old from New Jersey," one thirty-something professional woman from Manhattan told the Financial Times.

Having just published a book about modern American ways of seeking intimate and durable personal relationships, I read with great interest Nick Paumgarten’s “Looking for Someone” in the July 4 New Yorker.

It sounds a lot like those personality tests that ask you the same question 30 different ways to trick you into answering truthfully.

Sure, you don't need an algorithm to know that what people say is very often different from what they do, but the new math seems to be working for

Lawson situated this e Bay-Pay Pal bastard tag as an artery perfusing her works dealing with the expanding businesses of online dating sites and the 24-hour curio trade at the world’s greatest bazaar (leaving aside Pay Pal’s alchemical yet flawed promise at turning a relative abstraction like security into a robust excuse to blithely shop the virtual mall, considering that government agencies like the NSA – contending with an avant-garde of tech-savvy teenagers – routinely override standard SSL encryption).

Lawson accentuates the polymorphous desires and wants – desultory, banal, idiosyncratic, and exotic as these may come – to nevertheless all be fully streamlined toward generating the precious resources sought by biopolitical data-mining industries.

I came to the conclusion that the seamless compatibility pursued by the experts (and those they seek to help) is a fantasy not altogether different from the romantic yearnings of the past, which found expression in many novels.

I was especially struck by the characteristic American disposition to embrace conflicting values and desires in the course of “looking for someone,” and especially the unstated belief that all good things are compatible.

I’m not even including all the things a playful or delirious imagination believes to distinguish in those shadows, onto which it projects an entire people of simulacra: Towers, gods, monsters, caravans passing underneath the palm trees of oases.” [4] Lawson may have laid out a current cross-section of what Jean Baudrillard suspected to be late capitalism’s “reification of the unconscious” [5] .