Lauren Lee McCarthy, associate professor of design media arts at the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture, is exhibiting her new work “Later Date” at the Chronus Art Center in Shanghai. “Later Date” is part of the “We=Link: Sideways” exhibition, which features 22 works by 28 artists, spanning three decades of net art practice. The exhibition will run through May 2021.

“Later Date” is an examination of the emerging importance that “later” has taken on during the pandemic. McCarthy conducted a series of online chats with people, discussing plans for a future when everyone can go outside again. She refers to the piece, which features a slowly progressing text-only conversation, as a one-on-one performance with the person on the other end. At the same time, the conversation is also meant to be the opposite of the performance of a Zoom meeting, with the camera off and a focus on waiting instead of streaming.

As an artist, McCarthy focuses on the dynamics of social relationships in the midst of surveillance, automation and algorithmic living. Her work “Someone” was awarded the Japan Media Arts Social Impact Award, and her work “Lauren” was awarded the IDFA DocLab Award for Immersive Non-Fiction. “Later Date” was also exhibited at IDFA DocLab in Amsterdam in November 2020.

McCarthy is the creator of p5.js, an open-source art and education platform that prioritizes access and diversity in learning to code, with more than 1.5 million users. She expands on this work in her role as a director of the Processing Foundation, whose mission is to serve those who have historically not had access to the fields of technology, code and art in learning software and visual literacy.