In 1984, Lynn Hershman Leeson began to talk to a video camera. Over the next four decades, she documented her personal and artistic journey as she continually looked ahead to a transformative technological future while confronting her own painful past. The Electronic Diaries are a groundbreaking exploration of the relationship and slippage between the real and virtual self, culminating with Leeson’s efforts to store her own archives in DNA, and to create her own custom antibody. This artistic research in biotechnology suggests new links between new technology and the body, personal memory and mediated archives—the thematic poles that have long animated Leeson’s practice.
This special screening, followed by a conversation with the artist, is copresented with Rhizome and C-Lab Taiwan as part of “First Look: Forking PiraGene,” an online exhibition that imagines gene writing and discovery as a collective practice, positing a sci-fi scenario in which people propagate a “pirate gene” through informal networks of exchange. The exhibition is a part of Lab Kill Lab, a 7-day, 5-work station feral lab project, conceived and directed by Shu Lea Cheang for C-LAB Technology Media Platform.
Over the last five decades, artist and filmmaker Lynn Hershman Leeson has been internationally acclaimed for her art and films. Cited as one of the most influential media artists, Hershman Leeson is widely recognized for her innovative work investigating issues that are now recognized as key to the workings of society: identity, surveillance, the relationship between humans and technology, and the use of media as a tool of empowerment against censorship and political repression.