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Follower, the app to be followed live

It is downloaded from the App Store and allows you to have a person who observes your movements for a whole day, accompanying you in your daily life

Alexis PaparoBy: Alexis PaparoPosted: March 4, 2016

Following App

?Don't go unnoticed: Follower a service that allows you to have a person who follows you, for a whole day, in your daily life. An invisible company that does not disturb anyone. Someone who looks, someone who sees you, someone who cares.

Not the teaser of the next episode ofBlack Mirror, but a real app created by the artist and programmer Lauren McCarthy. Just go to the Follower site and answer two questions: why you want to be followed and why you should be. If you are selected, you can download the application from the App Store and an unspecified morning a notification will announce to the selected person that that day you will be followed, for the moment only by the artist, "for security reasons". The proof of the experiment comes in the evening, with a photo that McCarthy took during the day.

Follower, evidence of surveillance

Halfway between an experiment and an artistic performance, Follower App was active last January in San Francisco, already downloadable by all New Yorkers who wish to be followed and in the future could also reach other countries."We live an ambivalence: on the one hand, pervasive and out of control surveillance, on the other, we have an intense desire to be seen, followed, to share even intimate aspects and details of our lives. full of sites that for ten dollars fill your paid follower accounts, but is this enough to feel satisfied?McCarthy wondered before shaping the project. With the gig economy it sometimes seems to be willing to try any app or service that promises something original or useful. With Uber or TaskRabbit, for example,you press a button and you see a person moving to your position on the map. I wanted to reverse this process: people do not see my position on the app and I am the only one following them. What we get is not a point on a map, but the awareness that there is someone around them watching them with attention and concentration. Raise your hand if you have not just felt a shiver down your spine.

Yet there are people who have accepted to be followed in the street, in the rain, who showed up while they were working inside their office, playing tennis or eating with friends, watching a movie or shopping, going out and go home. Nobody who, at least so far, has staged particular pantomimes therefore, only daily life. Sometimes it seemed to me that they were doing some things just for me, or that they had noticed me, but you can never be sure. At the end of the day I leave them, warning a strong sense of familiarity yet without ever actually interacting with them. I send them a photo that I took during the day and this is the last contact.

The preliminary questions or ask if you would like to be followed or followed and why they are an integral part of the experiment:Some wrote that they wanted to participate out of pure curiosityothers because they wanted support or because they wanted to feel connected to someone, others because they wanted to show me a story.McCarthy says that the exciting and intense experience:I follow them all day starting to imagine what they are going to do, what they say and think. strangely intimate. At the end of the day I feel I know them, I feel I have shared an experience.


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