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Desire Inc. and Life Squared

Two video works by Lynn Hershman Leeson

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Desire Inc. and Life Squared


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Desire Inc. (1990, 26 minutes)
Four “seduction ads” placed on cable TV stations invite unexpected responses. This tape is about fantasy and desire in a mediated world.

The film's main focus is people's eroticism and how media, partnered with technology, shape it and change the way we interact with it. It's astonishing that the film was made in 1990, yet it still has unique thoughts to share about technology that is still applicable with today's advancements.

Life Squared (2007, 4 minutes)
This project uses mixed reality convergence through which users can participate in some of the digital existing archive of Lynn Hershman Leeson, now housed in the Special Collections Library at Stanford University. Created in 2006, this project is one of the first artist archive projects in Second Life and has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art Montreal, ISEA and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

"For over four decades my work has explored the consequences of living in a world of mediated, monitored and manipulated identities as well as the associated impact of simulation on identity and cultural construction – encryption of privacy in an era of surveillance and identity in a time of pervasive and covert media manipulation."  Lynn Hershman Leeson

Over the last five decades, artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson has been internationally acclaimed for her art and films. Cited as one of the most influential media artists, Hershman Leeson is widely recognized for her innovative work investigating issues that are now recognized as key to the workings of society: the relationship between humans and technology, identity, surveillance, and the use of media as a tool of empowerment against censorship and political repression.

Over the last fifty years she has made pioneering contributions to the fields of photography, video, film, performance, artificial intelligence, bio art, installation and interactive as well as net-based media art. ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Germany, mounted the first comprehensive retrospective of her work titled Civic Radar.  A substantial publication, which Holland Cotter named in The New York Times  “one of the indispensable art books of 2016.”

Lynn Hershman Leeson is a recipient of a Siggraph Lifetime Achievement Award, Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica,  and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. In 2017 she received a USA Artist Fellowship,  the San Francisco Film Society’s “Persistence of Vision” Award and will receive the College Art Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Her five feature films – Strange Culture, Teknolust, Conceiving Ada, !Women Art Revolution: A Secret History, and Tania Libre are all in worldwide distribution and have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival and The Berlin International Film Festival, among others. She was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Prize for writing and directing Teknolust. !Women Art Revolution received the Grand Prize Festival of Films on Art.

Artwork by Lynn Hershman Leeson is featured in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Tate Modern, The National Gallery of Canada, and the Walker Art Center in addition to many celebrated private collections.

Currently her work is on view at “Being Modern”,  From the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art, at the Louis Vuitton Foundation Center in Paris, “Future Shock”, Site Santa Fe,  and will be in the ICA exhibition “Art and the Internet” which features in its catalogue a conversation between Hershman and Hito Steyerl.

She is represented by Bridget Donahue, New York, Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco, and Waldburger Wouters, Brussels.

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