Lynn Hershman Leeson

Agent Ruby


The interactive, multiuser work Agent Ruby is an expanded cinema part of Hershman Leeson’s film Teknolust. The work consists of an artificially intelligent Web agent with a female persona and a website designed as the working lab of two of the Teknolust characters Rosetta Stone and Agent Ruby. Ruby, who appears as a female face with shifting expressions, chats with users and can remember their questions—although she often responds that she needs a better algorithm to reply. When prompted, she searches the Internet for information and increases her body of knowledge. Ruby ’s internal system continually changes with use, reflecting these encounters; even her moods are directly affected by web traffic. The Web agent can be accessed on the website

Agent Ruby ’s EDream Portal - 2002

Agent Ruby, 1998–2002, interactive website, computer, dimensions of installation variable, installation view with 8 archival folders and wall text.  Image from: Lynn Hershman Leeson: The Agent Ruby Files, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2013

Agent Ruby installation, 1998–2002

Agent Ruby ’s EDream Portal, 2002, screen shot: Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.