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TOSHARE 2015 – Entry Selected #2

Follower

Lauren McCarthy (USA)

Follower is a service that provides a real life follower for day. In order to be followed, you answer two questions:

Why do you want to be followed? Why should someone follow you? The following lasts one day, and you don’t know when it will happen. At the end, you are left with one photo of you, taken by your Follower. The Follower stays just out of sight, but within your consciousness. What is the relationship between attention and surveillance? There are sites you can go to to buy online followers, $10 can get you 1000 followers. We have this intense desire to be seen, to feel connected. But is that desire really fulfilled by watching your follower count tick upward? Could a real life follower provide something more meaningful or satisfying?

How does this fit with our fear of surveillance? We imagine “the man” or Google or the government watching us, but does it feel different if we know it’s a real live human?

Lauren McCarthy is an artist based in Brooklyn, NY. She is full-time faculty at NYU ITP, and recently a resident at CMU STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and Eyebeam. Her work explores current social and technological systems for being a person and interacting with other people. Her artwork has been shown at the Ars Electronica Center, Conflux Festival, SIGGRAPH, LACMA, the Japan Media Arts Festival, Share Festival, File Festival, and the WIRED Store.

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