“What do you want me to say?” by Lauren Lee McCarthy
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
On February 8th, Search Engines will host Lauren Lee McCarthy for an interactive, Zoom-based presentation entitled “What do you want me to say?” McCarthy’s practice – spanning performance, software, electronics, internet, film, photography, and installation – examines social relationships in the midst of surveillance, automation, and algorithmic living.
As she writes, “I am captivated by the ways we are taught to interact with algorithms, and how this shapes the way we interact with each other. Central to my work is a critique of the simultaneous technological and social systems we’re building around ourselves. What are the rules, what happens when we introduce glitches? I invite participants. To remote control my dates. To be followed. To welcome me in as their human smart home. To attend a party hosted by artificial intelligence. In these interactions, there is a reciprocal risk taking and vulnerability, as performer and audience are both challenged to relinquish control, both implicated. We must formulate our own opinions about the systems that govern our lives. We begin to notice their effects play out on our identity, relationships, and society. Each work feels like an attempt to hack my way out of myself and into closeness with others. I am embodying machines, trying to understand that distance between the algorithm and myself, the distance between others and me. There’s humor in the breakdown, and also moments of clarity. Who builds these artificial systems, what values do they embody? Who is prioritized and who is targeted as race, gender, disability, and class are programmatically encoded? Where are the boundaries around our intimate spaces? In the midst of always on networked interfaces, what does it mean to be truly present?”
“What do you want me to say?” invites the audience to explore these questions together. The presentation will be followed by an audience Q&A, moderated by Jeff Nagy.
Register to attend the Zoom presentation here: https://myumi.ch/Xngrq
Lauren Lee McCarthy (she/they) is an artist examining social relationships in the midst of surveillance, automation, and algorithmic living. She is a Creative Capital Awardee, United States Artists Fellow, LACMA Art+Tech Lab Grantee, and has been awarded fellowships and residencies from Sundance, Eyebeam, MacDowell, Pioneer Works, and Ars Electronica. Her work SOMEONE was awarded the Ars Electronica Golden Nica and the Japan Media Arts Social Impact Award, and her work LAUREN was awarded the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction. Lauren's work has been exhibited internationally, including the Barbican Centre, Haus der elektronischen Künste, SIGGRAPH, Onassis Cultural Center, IDFA DocLab, Science Gallery Dublin, and Seoul Museum of Art. She holds an MFA from UCLA and a BS Computer Science and BS Art and Design from MIT. She is the creator of p5.js, an open source programming language for learning creative expression through code online with over 10 million users worldwide. Lauren is a Professor at UCLA Design Media Arts.