As art truly imitates life, the latest event at Canopy Collective might hit a little too close to home for some of you. Emma Shepard’s Tinder Graveyard is a one-night only special event exploring themes of identity, mortality, social media/technology and their role in contemporary dating and mating rituals.
“I was searching on Tinder and taking submissions for Tinder bios that I thought were funny, ridiculous, charming or captured something relatable about being a millennial and dating,” Shepard says. “I haven't used Tinder for legitimate reasons, only for this project. However, I don't really have a problem with it. It's superficial, sure, but if two people are looking for a consensual hookup, that's totally fine. I've even seen it work sometimes for people looking for something a little more serious.”
Emma Shepard is a talented singer/songwriter from Kent. She comes from a musical family. Her mother fronted Akron’s Unit 5 punk band, her brother is blues guitarist Stompdown Smith and her father owns Time Traveler, an independent record shop in Akron. Growing up with music, she skipped classes during her junior year of high school to write more than 200 songs. In 2013, she released her first full length album, Public Displays of Affection.
Shepard has created a life-size graveyard in Canopy’s back room. The graveyard’s inhabitants are real Tinder bios, including many Ohio Natives.
“Nobody knows I've used their bios, but I changed their names and distance for the sake of privacy,” she explains. “So they're all somewhat anonymous. A majority of them are from Northeast Ohio since it's a location-based app, so I was looking in Northeast Ohio, as well as most of my friends. However, some of my friends submitted from Chicago, New York, and even Japan.”
The graveyard theme was inspired by Shepard’s thoughts of her own mortality. Although our bodies will slowly decay over time, our digital selves are preserved forever.
“It is a graveyard because I thought it was funny to juxtapose a time in your life when you are at your youngest, most attractive, liveliest; literally flipping through people to decide if they're hot enough for you, with your own mortality,” Shepard explains. “I really just think it's funny to think about being immortalized as your Tinder-self.”
The evening also includes additional activities, performances and surprises exploring themes of mortality and online dating. Wondering if you’re one of the dearly departed? There’s only one way to find out. Stop by Canopy between 7 and 10 p.m. this Thursday, Dec. 17.
(Canopy Collective) 3910 Lorain Ave., 216-309-1090, canopy-collective.com/