Institute History


A project born out of the artist’s desire to participate in the living, reproducing process, Surrogate explores what “kin” means when rapidly developing reproductive technologies — such as in vitro fertilization, egg and sperm donation, embryo freezing, DNA testing, and gene editing — shift our relationships. How much control should we have over a birthing person’s body, and over a life before they join the world?

This multifaceted work consists of interviews with relatives, sperm donors, and intended parents, as well as future letters and an ongoing dialogue with Lauren Lee McCarthy’s own unborn baby. The artist herself is biologically integrated into Surrogate through live “womb walk” performances, during which audiences can control the movement of McCarthy’s pregnant body using a custom app.

Meet the artists behind all films and projects at the Festival on the Spaceship.

Screening Details

  • Section: New Frontier Projects
  • Film Type: Performance
  • Country: U.S.A.
  • Language: English
  • Run Time: 20 min.
As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]