pplkpr & Social Turkers
Lauren Lee McCarthy & Kyle McDonald (USA)
pplkpr: 2015 – Video – duration 1 minute 1 second
Social Turkers: 2013 – Video – duration 1 minute 49 seconds
Lauren Lee McCarthy is an artist examining social relationships in the time of surveillance, automation and algorithmic living. Kyle McDonald is an artist working with code. He explores the possibilities of new technologies to understand how they affect society and build alternative futures. They work both autonomously and together. For Social Turkers, Lauren Lee McCarthy went on 20 dates with people she met on an online dating site called OkCupid. She used her phone to stream these dates to the Internet. She paid remote workers on a site called Amazon Mechanical Turk to watch the stream, interpret what was happening, and direct her on what to do or say next. These directions were communicated to her via text message and she had to perform them immediately.
What if we could receive real-time feedback on our social interactions? Would third party monitors be better suited to interpret and make decisions for the parties involved? Could this make us more aware in our relationships, shift us out of normal patterns and open us to unexpected possibilities? pplkpr (by McCarthy and McDonald) is an app that tracks, analyses and auto-manages your relationships. Using a smartwatch, pplkpr monitors your physical and emotional response to the people around you, and uses machine learning to optimize your social life accordingly. pplkpr is an intervention that examines the implications of quantified living for relationships. It poses as a start-up in order to critique the techno-solutionism of start-up culture.
Lauren Lee McCarthy― Artist
Lauren Lee McCarthy is an LA-based artist who examines social relationships in the midst of surveillance, automation and algorithmic living. She is the creator of p5.js, and Co-Director of the Processing Foundation. Lauren’s work has been exhibited internationally, at spaces such as The Barbican Centre (UK), Ars Electronica (AT), Fotomuseum Winterthur (CH), Haus der elektronischen Künste (CH), SIGGRAPH (US), Onassis Cultural Center (US), IDFA DocLab (NL), Science Gallery Dublin (IE) and Seoul Museum of Art (KR). She has received numerous honours including the Creative Capital Award, Sundance Fellowship and Eyebeam Residency, as well as grants from the Knight Foundation, Mozilla Foundation, Google and Rhizome. Lauren is an Associate Professor at UCLA Design Media Arts.
Kyle McDonald― Artist
Kyle McDonald is an artist working with code. He crafts interactive installations, sneaky interventions, playful websites, workshops and toolkits for other artists working with code. He explores the possibilities of new technologies to understand how they affect society, to misuse them and to build alternative futures and with the aim of sharing a laugh, sparking curiosity, creating confusion and sharing spaces with magical vibes. He works with machine learning, computer vision, social and surveillance tech that spans commercial and arts spaces. He was previously adjunct professor at NYU’s ITP, a member of F.A.T. Lab, a community manager for openFrameworks and artist in residence at STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at CMU, and YCAM in JP. His work has been commissioned and shown around the world, including the V&A, NTT ICC, Ars Electronica, Sonar, Today’s Art and Eyebeam.