“Muted” by Lauren Lee McCarthy


  • ©, , Muted
  • ©, , Muted

Title:


    Muted

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Artist Statement:


    When the world shut down overnight last March, projects were disrupted, everything was on pause, and my practice shifted into a more responsive mode. I was responding to what was happening around me, what I felt, and really just trying to find a way through. It resulted in a series of five technologically-mediated performances—Later Date, I heard TALKING IS DANGEROUS, What do you want me to say?, Sleepover, and Good Night. The series of performances reflect on issues of disconnection, danger, communication, presence. They experiment with different forms of liveness and listening that can be accessed under remote circumstances.

    Later Date was an early-pandemic performance in which the artist hosted text-based, one-on-one chats with people to imagine future plans that could only transpire “later.” In I Heard Talking Is Dangerous, I showed up to friends’ doorsteps to deliver a monologue via text displayed via phone screen and text-to-speech. Participants were then invited to visit a URL to continue a text-based, in-person conversation about danger, safety, and the uncertain future. In What do you want me to say? visitors to the web-based work are asked by a digital clone of my voice, “What do you want me to say?” However they reply, my voice responds by speaking their own words back to them. Then it asks again, “What do you want me to say?” In Sleepover I would show up to a friend’s yard with a sleeping bag, text them “hello,” and then spend the night outside their home—without ever coming into physical contact. In NFT artwork Good Night, I text “goodnight” to a designated recipient every day before she goes to sleep for as long as she is alive.


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