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40 Under 40 Art and Tech

Lauren Lee McCarthy

20 September 2021

Artist and programmer, Los Angeles

As an artist and programmer, Lauren Lee McCarthy uses code as a medium itself and explores the uses of algorithms and AI for, among other things, surveillance and automation. She is also the creator of p5.js, an open-source art and education platform begun in 2012 and now with more than 1.5 million users, which aims to improve access and diversity in coding and the creation of visual media with code. In 2019 she stepped down as project lead of p5.js to focus on work as co-director of the Processing Foundation, which promotes software literacy in the visual arts and visual literacy in tech, especially for communities that have not historically had access to the fields of technology, code and art. McCarthy is a 2021 United States Artist Fellow – her own artwork focuses on social relationships in the age of surveillance culture – and she has undertaken residencies at ZERO1 (San Francisco), New York University Tisch School of the Arts, and Ars Electronica (Linz).

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