Follower

Lauren McCarthy (US)

Follower takes the language of social media at face value. But here, instead of providing followers online, the service provides a real life follower for a day and results in a single photo shot by the Follower. This work attempts to reconcile the willingness to engage with online followers, and to attract ever more of them, with a keen awareness of “ubiquitous camera placement, NSA monitoring, Google tracking, and any number of other [surveillance] practices.” By reversing the interface of app and user, Follower negotiates a new possibility to satisfy the intense desire to be seen and known.

Video: David Leonard, Lauren McCarthy
Design: Michelle Lin, Lauren McCarthy


Lauren McCarthy explores social and technological systems for being a person and interacting with other people. She is the creator of p5.js. McCarthy has exhibited at Ars Electronica, Conflux Festival, SIGGRAPH, LACMA, Onassis Cultural Center, IDFA DocLab, Japan Media Arts Festival, and created public installations for the London Eye, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mccarthy is currently an Assistant Professor at UCLA Design Media Arts. MFA, UCLA Design Media Arts (2011).