The Other Art History: The Forgotten Cyberfeminists of ’90s Net Art
Jan 4, 2019
Loney Abrams

Lynn Hershman Leeson was incredibly ahead of her time. Well before the Cyberfeminist Movement—and well before the internet, for that matter—Leesson was the first artist to make an interactive artwork using Videodisc (a precursor to the DVD). Made in 1983-84, the film disk Lorna enables viewers to gain access to the main character’s emotions in the manner of a ‘name your own adventure’ story by allowing them to make important life decisions for her (not entirely unlike Netflix’s recent release of the interact Black Mirror movie called Bandersnatch… 35 years later). Leeson was also the first artist to use a touch screen interface in an artwork (Deep Contact, 1984-1989). She also used robotics, video, and performance. She’s perhaps best known for her project Roberta Breitmore: an alter ego and fictional persona she developed from 1972 to 1982. During this time period, Roberta Breitmore was more than just embodied; her existence could be “proven” by a paper trail of credit cards, letters from her psychiatrist, even a driver’s license.