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.
I have explored these themes in performance, photography and installation, A.I. Bots and cinema. Time itself becomes a medium for these electronic subversions that fracture and intervene narratives. The works selected for this collection focus on technological projections that impact individuals in society.
— Lynn Hershman Leeson, San Francisco, August 2010
Virtual Love (1993, 75 min)
A love story for the 90s: Valery falls in love with an identical twin, a virtual reality scientist, and finds she can have a more intimate relationshiop with him through the computer screen than in person – or is it really him? Commissioned by ZDF German Television, this features several Virtual Reality experts such as Jaron Lanier and Arthur and Marilouise Kroker.
Seeing is Believing (1992, 58 min)
Film becomes a metaphor for lost history and its “negative” impact on successive generations who are looking for stability in an electronic world that lacks sufficient mediation. Video retrieves lost memories for the child who, through her camera, seeks to find her father. First Prize at the video festival, Vigo Spain. Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Longshot (1989, 62 min)
Fact and fiction cross dress in this faux documentary about a lost woman, Lian, who is searching for her own identity. Lian is manipulated by Dennis, a video editor. He captures surveillance footage of her and manipulates it in an attempt to manipulate and then possess her real life. Grand Prize Winner, Montbelliard Festival for Television and Video, France; Prize Publique, Montreal Festival.
Desire Inc. (1990, 26 min)
Four “seduction ads” placed on cable TV stations invite unexpected responses. This tape is about fantasy and desire in a mediated world. First Prize Montbelliard Festival for Television and Video, France.
The Electronic Diaries (1984-1996, 75 min)
A woman’s personal life unfolds over twelve years in a video diary that simultaneously parallels and reflects global history. Personal fears and obsession dissolve into a story of triumph and empowerment as the protagonist eventually finds her voice. First Prize, Locarno and Lucerne Festivals.
Life Squared (2007, 4 min)
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.