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A university for the real world

O Week

O Week

O Week is on at QUT this week and a themed program with appear on Screen 3 from Monday 20 February to Friday 24 February.

Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy is a New York based artist and programmer. Her residency The Changing Rooms explored the potential of The Cube as a "smart social environment," responsive to the mood and activity of the people that inhabit it.

In the course of her residency, Lauren focused on the side-effects of the Internet of Things. She raised the question, are smart systems capable of interpreting our social relationships? The areas around The Cube were transformed into "smart social environments". Custom software analysed the data collected through The Cube's built-in sensors, and displayed social instructions based on the needs of those in the areas surrounding the wall. For example, if the mood around the wall seemed to be tense or argumentative, the direction was to "listen" or "empathize". If people seemed bored or lonely, it suggested they "share something personal" or "reach out".

This residency was presented by Ars Electronica and QUT.


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. She holds an MFA from UCLA and a BS Computer Science and BS Art and Design from MIT. Her work explores current social and technological systems and structures for being a person and interacting with other people.

Her artwork has been shown in a variety of contexts, including the Ars Electronica Center, Conflux Festival, SIGGRAPH, LACMA, the Japan Media Arts Festival, Share Festival, File Festival and the WIRED Store.

Lauren has worked on installations for the London Eye, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, IBM, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello.

residency blog