Media Arts Program

Monday, May 15, 2006

Lynn Hershman Leeson

Strange Culture and Teknolust

Presented at:

Lynn Hershman Leeson returns to Hallwalls to present her work in progress, Strange Culture, a film about the Critical Art Ensemble [also visit], and to introduce a screening of her 2002 feature film Teknolust (2002).

In Teknolust, Rosetta Stone (Tilda Swinton), a bio-geneticist anxious to use artificial intelligent robots to improve the world, devises a recipe through which she can download her own DNA into a "live" brew she is growing in her computer. She succeeds in breeding three Self Replicating Automatons — S.R.A.'s that look human, but were bred as intelligent machines. She names them Ruby, Marine and Olive.

"As Rosetta seeks to understand the encrypted language of her SRA progeny, she confronts the reality of her own loneliness and alienation. The nearly-predatory dependence of Rosetta on her creations and of them on their peculiar life-sustaining diet (male "chromo" filched from unsuspecting seduced "hosts") is supplanted by their all becoming viable, distinct individuals." L.H.L.

Lynn Hershman Leeson's first feature film, Conceiving Ada, starring Tilda Swinton, Karen Black, and Timothy Leary was shown at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, The Toronto International Film Festival, The Berlin International Film Festival, Montreal Festival of New Cinema, Riocinne and 35 other festivals worldwide. It received the award of "Outstanding Achievement in Drama" from the Festival of Electronic Cinema in Japan as well as the Iomega Award for Technical Innovation and the National Education Media Festival award for Outstanding Technical Innovation. Pioneering digital processes were used to create virtual sets for this film. Lynn was the first woman to receive a tribute and retrospective at the San Francisco International Film Festival (1994) and was awarded the ZKM/Siemens Media Arts Award in 1995. In 1998 she was a Sundance Screenwriter Fellow and was also honored with the Flintridge Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts. In 1999 she was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award, and she received the prestigious Golden Nica Prix Ars Electronica in Austria. Her artwork is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art, The National Gallery of Canada, The ZKM Mediammuseum, The Hess Collection and others.

Some publications related to this event:
May, 2006 - 2006