Lauren Lee McCarthy is an LA-based artist examining social relationships in the midst of surveillance, automation, and algorithmic living. She is the creator of p5.js, an open source programming language with over 1.5 million users, for learning creative expression through code online. She is Co-Director of the Processing Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to promote software literacy within the visual arts, and visual literacy within technology-related fields—and to make these fields accessible to diverse communities. She is an Associate Professor at UCLA Design Media Arts.
Lauren's work has been exhibited internationally, at places such as Ars Electronica, Barbican Centre, Fotomuseum Winterthur, SIGGRAPH, IDFA DocLab, Science Gallery Dublin, Seoul Museum of Art, and the Japan Media Arts Festival. She's a 2019 Creative Capital Grantee, ZERO1 Arts Incubator Resident, and has previously held residencies with Sundance New Frontiers, Eyebeam, CMU STUDIO for Creative Inquiry, Autodesk, NYU ITP, and Ars Electronica, among others. She's the recipient of grants from the Knight Foundation, the Online News Association, Mozilla Foundation, Google AMI, Sundance Institute New Frontiers, Turner Broadcasting, and Rhizome. She holds an MFA from UCLA and a BS Computer Science and BS Art and Design from MIT.
Selected Awards and Grants
Creative Capital Award
NEA Art Works Grant (Processing Foundation)
Mozilla MOSS Partners Grant, Mozilla Foundation
Google Focused Research Award, Google Artist and Machine Intelligence
CLTC Cybersecurity Arts Grant, University of California, Berkeley
STRP ACT Award, STRP Festival, Eindhoven, NL.
ZERO1 American Arts Incubator Residency, San Francisco, California / Gwangju, South Korea
Faculty Research Grant, University of California, Los Angeles
Dean’s Research Grant, University of California, Los Angeles
Journalism 360 Challenge Award, Google News Lab, Knight Foundation, and Online News Association
Knight Foundation Grant for Processing Foundation Node Cities
Ars Electronica Honorary Mention, Digital Communities Category
Metal Liverpool Artist Residency, Liverpool, UK
Mozilla Open Leaders Program
Harvestworks Residency, New York, NY
Art Works Grant (Processing Foundation)
Instructional Improvement Grant, University of California, Los Angeles
Sundance New Frontier Fellowship, Sundance Institute
IDFA DocLab Award Immersive Non-Fiction, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, NL
Academie Schloss Solitude & ZKM Web Residency, Stuttgart, Germany
International Kunstverein Luxembourg Residency
Faculty Research Grant, University of California, Los Angeles, CA,
Faculty Career Development Award, University of California, Los Angeles
Confucius Institute Grant, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Arts Initiative Award, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
HOW International Design Awards Merit Winner (with Sosolimited and PAOM), New York, NY
Communication Arts Interactive Award (with Sosolimited and PAOM), New York, NY
Innovation by Design Finalist (with Sosolimited and PAOM), New York, NY
Ars Electronica Transmit³ Residency, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia
ADC Young Guns Award Winner, Art Directors Club, New York, NY
Share Prize Honorary Mention, Share Festival, Treviso, Italy
Stochastic Labs Residency, Berkeley, CA
Dean’s Faculty Grant, New York University
Lifelogging Residency. Science Gallery Dublin, Ireland
CMU STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Residency, Carnegie Mellon University
ITP Research Residency, New York University Interactive Telecommunications
Autodesk Pier 9 Artist Residency, Autodesk, San Francisco, CA
NYSCA Independent Artist Grant, New York State Council on the Arts
RISD 2050 Fund Research Grant, Rhode Island School of Design
Share Prize Honorary Mention, Share Festival, Treviso, Italy
Rhizome Commission, Jury Award
Rhizome Commission, Member Award
Eyebeam Artist Residency, Eyebeam Art and Technology Center
Processing Fellowship, The Processing Foundation, New York, NY
Intel Research Grant, Intel Labs, Portland, OR
Core Design Award (Sosolimited), New York, NY
Elsewhere Residency, Elsewhere Museum, Greensboro, NC
Jury Recommended Work, Japan Media Arts Festival, Tokyo, Japan
UCLA Dean’s Scholarship, University of California, Los Angeles
UCLA University Fellowship, University of California, Los Angeles
Awesome Foundation Fellowship Grant, Boston, MA
Twitter Artist in Residence. Brooklyn Art Museum
Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions and Performance Events
Follower Performance. Fotomuseum Winterthur. Winterthur, Switzerland
LAUREN Performance. Living Room Light Exchange. San Francisco, CA
24 hour HOST. MU Artspace, Dutch Design Week. Eindhoven, Amsterdam
LAUREN. MU Artspace. Eindhoven, Netherlands
Follower. International Kunstverein Luxembourg. Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
LAUREN Overnight. IDFA Doclab. Amsterdam, Netherlands / Los Angeles, CA
How We Act Together. Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. With Kyle McDonald. Frankfurt, Germany The Changing Room. Queensland University of Technology. Brisbane, Australia
Friend or Follow. OPEN Gallery. Boston, MA
Follower Debut. Stochastic Labs. Berkeley, CA
Social Galaxy. Samsung 837. With Kyle McDonald. New York, NY
Friend Crawl. Electric Objects / Online. New York, NY
Crowdpilot. Rhizome Frontpage Exhibition. New York, NY
Social Turkers. Intel Research Labs / Online. Portland, OR
InterACT. Broad Art Center, University of California, Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA
Group Exhibitions, Performances, and Screenings
Selphish / L’exposition de soi. Mécènes du Sud. Montpellier, France. Curated by Pau Waelder and Thierry Fournier.
Mind the Deep - Artificial Intelligence and Artistic Creation. Ming Contemporary Art Museum. Shanghai, China. Curated by Iris Xinru Long.
She-nvisible. Print Screen Festival. Tel Aviv, Israel. Curated by Lior Zalmanson.
Deus Ex Machina. Art and Artificial Intelligence. LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial. Gijón, Spain. Curated by Karin Ohlenschläger and Pau Waelder.
Meteoric. Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Curated by Hannah Jayanti and Alexander Porter.
Strange Temporalities: Out of the Box. Ars Electronica. Linz, Austria. Curated by Vero Bollow.
Mozilla Festival. Ravensbourne University. London, UK. Curated by Irini Papadimitriou.
AI: More Than Human. The Barbican Centre. London, UK. Curated by Anna Holsgrove.
Smarter Home / 더 똑똑한 집 (American Arts Incubator). International Symposium of Electronic Arts (ISEA). Asia Cultural Center. Gwangju, South Korea.
Entangled Realities. Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel. Basel, Switzerland. Curated by Sabine Himmelsbach and Boris Magrini.
DE JA VU. Today Art Museum. Beijing, China. Curated by Iris Xinru Long.
GETXOPHOTO. Bilbao, Spain. Curated by Monica Allende.
Future of Privacy. Dublin, Ireland. Curated by Zack Denfeld and Laura Allcorn.
See and Be Seen: Picturing Notoriety. Norton Museum of Art. West Palm Beach, Florida. Curated by J. Rachel Gustafson and Tim Wride.
STRP Festival. Eindhoven, NL. Curated by Juliette Bibasse.
Refiguring the Future. Hunter Art Galleries. New York, NY. Curated by Heather Dewey-Hagborg and Dorothy Santos.
Forging the Gods. Transfer Gallery #ONCANAL. New York, NY. Curated by Julia Kaganskiy.
Rubbings for $20; Bootlegs for $100. SPRING/BREAK Art Fair. Curated by Marisa Jahn.
Printemps Numérique. Kanal - Centre Pompidou. Brussels, Belgium. Curated by Lise Ninane.
For Real. April 2019. Senne for Art Brussels. Curated by Karen Verschooren.
Vienna Biennale 2019: “Brave New Virtues Shaping our Digital World. MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts. Vienna, Austria.
Immortal on Screen. National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. Taichung City, Taiwan. Curated by TSENG Yu-Chuan.
Counting Digital Sheep. Hogeschool Avans. Den Bosch, Netherlands.
Intimacy. Science Gallery Dublin. Dublin, Ireland.
Microwave Media Arts Festival. Hong Kong.
Work. Art Quarter Budapest. Budapest, Hungary.
Seoul Mediacity Biennale. Entire; having no element left out, complete in degree. Seoul, South Korea.
Clustering. Artificial Knowing. Los Angeles, CA.
SITUATIONS. Fotomuseum Winterthur. Winterthur, Switzerland.
Refiguring the Future: Netgain Exhibition. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Chicago, IL. Curated by Mimi Onuoha.
FACELESS. Gallery of the Austrian Cultural Forum. Berlin, Germany. Curated by Bogomir Doringer.
Open Codes. ZKM | Center for Art and Media. Karlsruhe, Germany.
Electric Women. Online Exhibition. Curated by Lauren Valley.
Lost in the Net Dream. National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. Taichung City, Taiwan. Curated by Yu-Chuan Tseng.
ZER01 Festival. La Rochelle, France.
Counting Digital Sheep. Tetem. Enschede, Netherlands.
Authenticate. Cypress College Gallery. Cypress, CA. Curated by Jean Robinson.
Hard To Read: Lovelace. Navel. Los Angeles, CA. Curated by Fiona Duncan and Claire Evans.
tech (in)dependent. Pierro Gallery. Newark, NJ.
Otherly Space/Knowledge. ACT Festival. Asian Cultural Center. Gwangju, South Korea.
In Our Present Condition... MIT Dean’s Gallery. Cambridge, MA. Curated by Laura Knott and Nomeda Urbonas.
Neotopia: Data and Humanity. Art Center Nabi. Seoul, South Korea. Curated by Doo Eun Choi.
Day for Night. Barbara Jordan Post Office. Houston, TX. Curated by Alex Czetwertynski.
Materalising the Internet. MU Artspace. Eindhoven, Amsterdam. Curated by Nadine Roestenburg and Angelique Spaninks.
Vulnerability. Young Projects Gallery. Los Angeles, CA. Curated by Natalie Sun.
Uncharted Rituals. IDFA Doclab. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Curated by Caspar Sonnen.
Radical Networks. Chem Creative. New York, NY. Curated by Sarah Grant.
Dear Diary: A Celebration of Diaries and their Digital Descendants. Somerset House. London, England. Curated by Clare Brant.
Sundance World Building Showcase. University of Southern California. Los Angeles, CA.
First I Was Afraid…. Dorsky Gallery. Long Island City, NY. Curated by Liz Blum.
Feminist Climate Change. Ars Electronica Center. Linz, Austria. Curated by Victoria Vesna and Xin Xin.
Designing Hope. NODE Forum for the Digital Arts Biennial. Frankfurt, Germany. Curated by Jeanne Vogt.
I Dread To Think. Boston Center for the Arts. Boston, MA. Curated by Liz Blum.
Body Politic. OPEN Gallery. Boston, MA. Curated by Laura Zittrain.
AppDate, Literatur-Kunst-Medien Universität Konstanz. Konstanz, Germany. Curated by Samantha Schramm.
Blindspot. Design Matters Gallery. Los Angeles, CA. Curated by Dahn Kim.
Hybrids. Onassis Cultural Centre. Athens, Greece. Curated by Manuela Naveau.
Geek Girl. Creative Industries Precinct at QUT. Brisbane, Australia. Curated by Rachel Parsons.
Elastic Reality. IDFA Doclab. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Curated by Caspar Sonnen.
State of Emotion – The Sentimental Machine. STATE Festival. Berlin, Germany.
Radical Networks. Eyebeam Art and Technology Center. Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Sarah Grant.
Eastern Bloc Sight and Sound Festival. Vancouver, Canada. Curated by Vincent Marquis. Social Turkers.
TLDR (Too Long; Didn’t Read). B4BEL4B Gallery. Oakland, CA. Curated by Joanna Cheung.
Social Computing. Centro Studi Città di Foligno. Foligno, Italy. Curated by Emanuele De Donno and Alice Mazzarella.
House Guests. Share Festival. Treviso, Italy. Curated by Paola Antonelli, Captain Samantha Cristoforetti, Chiara Garibaldi, Jasmina Tesanovic, and Bruce Sterling.
Social Galaxy. Samsung Galaxy Studio. Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Social Discovery. Bangkok, Thailand.
Happenings for SET. DOOSAN Gallery. New York, NY. Curated by Taeyoon Choi.
Radical Networks. Integrated Digital Media, MAGNET NYU Poly. Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Sarah Grant.
Wrapped in Code – The Future of the Informed Body. NODE15 Forum. Frankfurt, Germany. Curated by Jeanne Charlotte Vogt, Alexandra Waligorski.
Lifelogging. Science Gallery Dublin. Dublin, Ireland. Curated by Linda Doyle, Lynn Scarf, Nicholas Felton.
Terms of Service. Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts. Grand Rapids, MI.
Social Soul. SXSW Festival. Austin, TX.
Your Friend, Correspondence and Collaboration. Gallery Factory. Seoul, South Korea. Curated by Taeyoon Choi.
Stillness In Motion. TED Conference. Vancouver, Canada.
Device Art. Ars Electronica Center. Linz, Austria.
Meditating Technology. CRUX Space. Philadelphia, PA. Curated by Katherine Bennett.
Eyebeam Annual Showcase. Eyebeam Art and Technology Center. New York, NY. Curated by Roddy Schrock.
Social Soul. TED Conference. Vancouver, Canada.
CSIS Data Chandelier. With Sosolimited. Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Washington, DC. Permanent Installation opened January 2014.
Real Time | Real Space. Share Festival. Treviso, Italy. Curated by Jasmina Tesanovic, Bruce Sterling, Simone Arcagni and Luca Barbeni.
New Cinema. Eyebeam Art and Technology Center. New York, NY. Curated by Julia Kaganskiy.
God Mode. 319 Scholes. Brooklyn, NY. Curated by Lindsay Howard.
Collision Collective. Boston Cyber Arts Gallery. Boston, MA.
Patterned by Nature. North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences. Raleigh, NC. Permanent Installation. With Sosolimited.
Northern Spark Festival. Minneapolis, MN. Collaboration with David Wicks.
Energy of the Nation. Installation at the London Eye for 2012 Olympics. London, England. With Sosolimited.
THINK IBM Centennial Exhibit. Lincoln Center, With Sosolimited and Mirada.
FILE Festival. São Paulo, Brazil. New York, NY.
Impractically, Practical. Take My Picture Gallery. Los Angeles, CA.
Anatomy Riot. Alexandria Hotel. Los Angeles, CA.
Tell Them Nothing…. New White Gallery, University of California, Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA.
Japan Media Arts Festival. The National Art Center. Tokyo, Japan.
Mindshare. The Downtown Independent. Los Angeles, CA.
WIRED Store. New York, NY.
#TheSocialGraph. Outpost Gallery. Bushwick, NY. Curated by Hrag Vartanian.
LACMA MUSE. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, CA.
Conflux Festival. New York, NY.
TouchPoint: Haptic Exchange Between Digits. SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, Los Angeles Convention Center. Los Angeles, CA.
2014-16 Full-Time Faculty, NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
2013-14 Adjunct Assistant Professor, NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
2011-13 Adjunct Faculty, RISD Department of Digital+Media
2008 BS Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2008 BS Art and Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Los Angeles Times. “Alexa, meet Lauren: L.A. artist turns her apartment into an experiment in artificial intelligence.” Sharon Mizota.
CLOT Magazine. “LAUREN McCARTHY, the coder among the wild beasts.” Lidia Raoi.
Ars Technica. “Artist transforms herself into a virtual assistant and obeys your commands.” Dorothy Santos.
Observer. “Artist Lauren McCarthy Takes on Amazon’s Alexa Like John Henry Did the Steam Engine.” Brady Dale.
Kill Screen. “Lauren McCarthy Takes on Silicon Valley Optimism.” David Wolinsky.
The Verge. “Giving your love life to Google Glass and the hive mind.” Tim Maly.
Interviews and Podcasts
Mozilla Blog.“Creating art with open source.” Interview with Abigail Cabunoc Mayes.
Team Human Podcast. “Live at Gray Area Night Two Part Two.” Interview with Douglas Rushkoff.
Team Human Podcast. “Live at Gray Area Night Two: Lauren McCarthy.” Interview with Douglas Rushkoff.
Request for Commits Podcast. “Design, Software, and Open Source.” Podcast interview with Nadia Eghbal and Mikeal Rogers.
Hyperallergic. “Want a Smart Home Assistant? Invite This Artist to Watch You for Three Days Instead.” Interview with Hrag Vartanian.
Y-Combinator Podcast. “Artist Lauren McCarthy Will Be Your Home’s Brain.” Interview with Craig Cannon.
Especially Big Data Podcast. “Let’s hear it for the girls!” Interview with Alex Geller.
Ars Electronica Blog. “Lauren McCarthy Provokes Fellow Feelings in Her Very Own Way.” Interview with Markus Scholl.