A New Future from the Passed
Mar 1, 2017
Art News
Alex Greenberger

For the artist herself, the attention had been a long time coming. “People say I’ve been rediscovered,” Hershman Leeson told me, “but there’s no re-. I was never discovered before two and a half years ago.” Since then, she has been retrofitted back into history as a pioneer of feminist art and an essential figure in the evolution of art and technology. Art from a different era can appear new if shown at the right moment, and that has been the case with Hershman Leeson’s 50 years of drawings, sculptures, performances, installation, videos, internet-based works, and feature films, some made with studio backing and released to theaters nationwide. At a time when young artists are exploring how we construct identity through technology, Hershman Leeson’s work in all her different media has proven remarkably ahead of its time. Her art proposes that identities are, in essence, aggregations of data—we are all masses of information gathered over time—and that who we become is shaped by computers, television, electronics. We make technology, but technology makes us too.