Introducing Siren

NEXT SIREN EVENT: Selife Surveillance, June 25th, 6pm

Throughout 2014, The Project Room is following the making of Siren, a new iPhone dating app made for-- and by-- women, and led by video artist Susie J Lee. Below, Susie introduces us to why she decided to use her art skills to tackle the online dating world. 

Merging arts and entrepreneurship, I am launching Siren, an app that empowers single women in their interactions with men by giving control and privacy online. Siren is a discerning female artist’s challenge to existing sites and a cultural response to the winner-takes-all, male-dominated start up culture.

Siren Founder Susie J Lee and Designer Katrina

Siren Founder Susie J Lee and Designer Katrina

When I announced I was going to make a woman-initiated social app, initial confusion gave way to sly smiles. “Of course you are…”My work explores transformation and human connection through technology, and Siren is an intuitive and clear extension of my

practice. I thrive in an “I don’t know” space with collaborators. I want to know what happens when rules change for women. I was curious about start up culture; that vantage point revealed both a devastating gender disparity and recognition that good art can also be good business.

A recent user-interface work session at TPR

A recent user-interface work session at TPR

Siren is a cultural tool designed to make an impact in the world. It expands the definition of art by reframing the scale and intent of social engagement and repositioning the artist within the machinations of hyper-capitalism. In city-by-city releases, partnerships with arts organizations and technology hubs will activate conversations through interactive exhibitions, online writing, gatherings and education. In Seattle, places such as The Project Room, Women in Tech, and UW are part of Siren.


Sarah Novotny, an advisor for Siren recently told me, “Please document your process. So few women do.” Siren has an all-female coding team, and I am the CEO and founder. It is an artist’s reflective encapsulations coupled with a woman’s voice on sexuality and leadership.

Siren gives people the chance to discover the individual beyond a profile photo. It’s about unexpected moments that make us smile. Instead of a tedious, image-crafted résumé, Siren’s profiles are layers of responses to fun daily questions and micro-videos. Women always control their visibility and men get better signals for a better experience overall. We encourage charming the pants off someone. 

Stay tuned for event announcements in conjunction with this new endeavor!

The Makers of Siren:

Recognized for its intelligence, emotion, and sensuality, the new media work of Siren CEO Susie J. Lee explores transformation and connections through technology. Lee's work has been exhibited in the United States and abroad, in such venues as the Denver Art Museum, Blanton Museum, Galleria Tiziana Di Caro in Salerno, Italy; and Gallery Hyundai in Seoul. A winner of The Stranger Genius Award, Lee has received support from 4Culture and the Seattle Mayor's Office of Arts and Culture, and her work is in notable public and private collections. Lee's Still Lives, an unfolding of time at the end of life in a series of video portraits, traveled to the Portland Art Museum, Tacoma Art Museum and was featured in The Huffington Post. Of Breath and Rain at the Frye Art Museum was named "Best Multimedia Exhibition" in 2012. Her solo exhibition at the North Dakota Museum of Art Split Open revealed the quiet and fierce lives impacted by the oil boom in North Dakota, and her recent piece with collaborator Byron Au Yong, 11 Pianists was commissioned by the Mitchell Center for the Arts for its Countercurrent festival. 

Katrina Hess, Design Director of Siren, has had over seventeen years of experience as a graphic designer, web developer, and owns the urban raingear outfit, Made in Sodo. She spent over ten years branding and marketing for corporate and retail companies before branching out on her own. Her designs are distinctive and functional, with intelligent modifications at every turn, and comprehensive branding. She selects her collaborative partners with an eye on opportunity, invention, and outcome. 

The Siren network of contributors and helpers, as of May, 2014

The Siren network of contributors and helpers, as of May, 2014