The Fantasy Beyond Control
LHL As Author
Jan 1, 1990
Illuminating Video
Lynn Hershman Leeson

Originally published in Illuminating Video: An Essential Guide to Video Art, New York: Aperture/BAVC (1990)

“A (pre) condition of a video dialogue is that it does not talk back. Rather, it exists as a moving stasis; a one-sided discourse, like a trick mirror that absorbs instead of reflects. Perhaps it was nostalgia that led me to search for an interactive video fantasy – a craving for control, a longing for liveness, a drive toward direct action. This total, cumulative, and chronic condition I suffered from is reputedly a side effect (or for video artists an occupational hazard) of watching too much television, a medium that is by nature fragmentary and incomplete, distanced and unsatisfying, like platonic sex.
My path to interactive works began not with video, but in performance when in 1973, an alternative identity named Roberta Breitmore was created. She was a breathing simulacrum, a persona, played first by myself, and then by a series of multiple individuals. Roberta existed in both real life and real time and during the decade of her activity engaged in many adventures that typified the culture in which she participated.”