In 2022, Lynn Hershman Leeson was awarded a special mention from the Jury for her participation in the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia – The Milk of Dreams. The award was presented with the following motivation: “for indexing the cybernetic concerns that run through the exhibitions in an illuminating and powerful way that also includes visionary moments of her early practice that foresaw the influence of technology in our everyday lives.”
Logic Paralyzes the Heart Installation. 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia – The Milk of Dreams. 2022.
“More than two billion people on the planet are forced to drink contaminated water. An estimated 502,000 people die each year from the conditions of drinking unsafe water that contains plastic, bacteria, parasites, and other contaminants. This “twist” of science and art began with the design of the “bacterial activity indicator” to expose bacteria in degrading plastic. The water purification system AquaPulse kills bacteria. It creates filtration for emergency recovery efforts to clean highly contaminated water. The basic structure of the AquaPulse system can be made fluorescent. By creating a fluctuating “glow” it could be possible to not only emphasize the DNA structure within the selected image of the test tube Water Woman, but also to expose the progressive decrease of toxicity in the liquid through colored lights.
Twisted Gravity consists of six pedestals, each displaying three plastic panels etched with the figures of women. Three of the pedestals contain AquaPulse units that use electronic pulses to kill pathogens like bacteria in water, while the other three pedestals contain bioreactors that evolve microorganisms that can degrade plastic. Both the levels of pathogen killing and plastic degradation are reflected by changes in the brightness of the panels.
Twisted Gravity premiered in Seoul, South Korea as part of the Gwangju Biennale exhibition in April 2021 and had its US premiere at the New Museum, New York. Water from local rivers will be filtered through this system into purified drinkable water during the timeline of the exhibition.” -Ars Electronica
The Electronic diaries
“In 1984, after teaching herself how to use a video camera, Lynn Hershman Leeson sat down in front of it and began to talk and for 40 years developed a sly, profound and raw confessional mediated expression for an unknown audience that led towards personal evolution and survival.”
Lynn Hershman Leeson’s feature film The Electronic Diaries of Lynn Hershman Leeson (2019) was this year officially selected by Sundance Film Festival to be part of the New Frontier exhibition. Prior to that it was on show at the Manual Override exhibition at The Shed, from late 2019 to early 2020.
Shadow Stalker is a “live” interactive installation that uses algorithms, performance and projections to make visible private Internet systems like Predictive Policing that are increasingly used by law enforcement and promote racial profiling. Shadow Stalker will next be exhibited at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, as part of the Uncanny Valley exhibition, from Feb 22 – Oct 25, 2020.
Feature on Art21
Lynn Hershman Leeson is at once a pointed critic and a sly practical jokester, as she explores the roles that technology, media, and artifice play in society. This episode surveys the artist’s richly varied body of work, from her early performances as the fictional character Roberta Breitmore to the more recent VertiGhost, a work incorporating surveillance video and sculpture that offers a feminist riff on Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.” Overlooked for the better part of her decades-long career, Leeson is now recognized as a pioneering multidisciplinary artist and critiques the gender biases that excluded her and other women artists.
Signals: How Video Transformed the World
New York City, New York
Mar 5, 2023 – Jul 8, 2023