Roberta, in history, is much more secure than I am because she had credit cards where I couldn’t get them and all of the artifacts that proved that she existed.
Part of not being believed has as much to do with the fact that I’m a woman on the West Coast — if I were male in New York, they would have seen me. The omission is a portrait of a prejudice [that] culture still suffers from.
It took a couple of decades to understand the limitations of feminism, which was a form of identity that people needed in the 1960s and ’70s to say that they were part of something and then work together to change things.
In just the last couple of weeks, five places have wanted to do tributes to me. Most of them have never shown my work, or else they rejected it or said it was not art. I find it weird.
It’s true that Tilda [Swinton] and I were laughing all the way through because it was so funny. Everyone else thought we were crazy.
People have said: “what do you expect from other male critics when you talk about them being impotent?” It never occurred to me. It just seemed funny.
That’s how it was in the art world, too. The women who were shown were related or married to people who were already in galleries. So they were adopted in that sense, and that’s the way it is in the film world.
As an artist, it’s all about collage. If it doesn’t fit in the frame of culture that exists at the time, you just extend the frame in time and find another place. That’s how I look at artists in Web3 and NFTs — it’s an extension of the frame. It validates the time that the work was created and certifies it immediately. There’s no one form, and people can work with whatever form they want to.
We’re always in a state of evolving the definition of ourselves.
Failure is not taking risks. If you work in a particular tradition that other people have established, you’re not going beyond yourself, extending the collage, and doing away with the frame. [That] limits you.
Sara said that climate change wasn’t a problem for humans [and that] all we needed to do was to stop using fossil fuel. Sara thought that the major problem with humanity was discrimination.
With thanks to Alex Estorick.
Lynn Hershman Leeson lives and works in San Francisco, California. Over the last five decades, she has been internationally acclaimed for her art and films, cited as one of the most influential media artists and widely recognized for her innovative work on the relationship between humans and technology, identity, surveillance, and the use of media as a tool of empowerment against censorship and political repression. She has made pioneering contributions to the fields of photography, video, film, performance, installation and interactive as well as net-based media art. Her six feature films: Strange Culture, Teknolust, Conceiving Ada, !Women Art Revolution: A Secret History, Tania Libre, and The Electronic Diaries are all in worldwide distribution and have screened at the Sundance Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, and The Berlin International Film Festival, amongst others. She was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Prize for Teknolust and !Women Art Revolution received the Grand Prize Festival of Films on Art.
Hershman Leeson is a recipient of a SIGGRAPH Lifetime Achievement Award, Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. The ZKM Center for Art and Media mounted the first comprehensive retrospective of her work, titled “Civic Radar” in 2014 along with a substantial catalog. In 2017 she received a USA Artist Fellowship, the San Francisco Film Society’s “Persistence of Vision” Award and will receive the College Art Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2022, she was awarded a special mention from the Jury for her participation in the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, The Milk of Dreams. In 2023, Pratt Institute of Art in New York awarded her with an Honorary Doctorate. Creative Capital awarded her with their Distinguished Artist Award and SFMOMA acquired the museum’s first NFT from Hershman Leeson in 2023. Work by Hershman Leeson is featured in the public collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; ZKM Center for Art and Media; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Tate Modern, London; The National Gallery of Canada, and the Walker Art Center in addition to many celebrated private collections. The artist is represented by Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York and Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco.
Carla Gannis is a Brooklyn-based artist known for her multilayered artworks that fuse technology and traditional media. Her work has appeared in exhibitions, screenings, and internet projects around the world. Her most recent projects include wwwunderkammer at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, Charleston (2023); Virtues and Vices at Telematic Gallery, San Francisco (2023); and Welcome to the wwwunderkammer at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (2022). She is an Industry Professor at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering in the Integrated Design and Media Program.