Portrayal of Art with Code

Lauren Lee McCarthy takes the phrase “the world runs on code” and incorporates it into the art world. She transforms lines of code that are traditionally used to solve technical problems to evolve artistic and creative curiosity.

Often associated with a canvas and a paintbrush, art is usually placed underneath a small lens. However, with artists like McCarthy, the infamous image of art is superimposed on the world of science.

“As long as the software runs, the party will never end…” says one of McCarthy’s art exhibit named “You can say ‘Reset the Room.’”

McCarthy specialized in both science in art in her academic career. She studied at UCLA, earning her MFA and earning her Bachelor of Science Degrees in computer science and art and design at MIT. Now, she continues to inspire young coders and artists to merge their worlds as the associate professor of Design Media Arts at UCLA.

Lauren is also the creator of p5.js, an open-source art and education platform that prioritizes access and diversity in learning to code, with over 1.5 million users,” Her website says, “she expands on this work… to serve those who have historically not had access to the fields of technology, code, and art in learning software and visual literacy.”

McCarthy’s art exhibits focus on the modern idea of life. She fills the exhibit with sophisticated furniture adorned with neutral colors like gray, beige, and stone blue. She then incorporates technical details, like computers, phones, keyboards, and more.

With the main intent of analyzing social relationships, McCarthy enjoys the juxtaposition of technology and everyday life, relaying how much technology affects normalcy.

“Lauren Lee McCarthy is an artist examining social relationships in the midst of surveillance, automation, and algorithm living,” states her website.

By coding her exhibit to move and interact with the audience within increments of time, she conveys the idea of technology interacting with people.

“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.”

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