In 1997 we invited Lynn Hershman to exhibit a body of work that surrounded her first feature film Conceiving Ada. I had been an admirer of Lynn's work since college, particularly the Roberta Breitmore project, which stands as a seminal work of feminist performance art. The Roberta project took place from 1974-1978. Lynn adopted the persona Roberta and in time acquired a driver's license, two credit cards and her own apartment. It was intended to untangle the knots of identity and gender and ultimately cost Hershman her marriage.
Hershman's film Conceiving Ada included Tilda Swinton, Karen Black and Timothy Leary. The movie and the digital technology that brought it into being, was a beautiful marriage of form and function. It's the story of Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron's daughter who has been credited with writing the first computational program, for the first mechanical computer. Conceiving Ada was the technically groundbreaking feat. It was the first feature film involving live actors, to be made entirely digitally. Hershman's concept was to use the technology that Ada predicted to tell her story. It not only married Hershman's interest in feminist themes, but continued her work as a pioneer in the intersection of art and technology. Hershman patented the process of creating virtual sets for live actors.
Gallery 16 also presented ta group of interactive sculptures including “Camera Obscura” a robotic sculpture dealing with surveillance that took the form of a poloroid land camera. Several editions resulted from the projects with Hershman Leeson including Conceiving Ada portfolio and the Cyborg series which was a visual investigation of the integration of the human body and the machine. Lynn’s work has been focused on identity, deception and artiface.
Gallery 16 published a portfolio of prints "Conceiving Ada", that included a dvd of the film. We also produced a larger series of prints with Lynn entitled "Cyborgs". This work was an extension of concerns Lynn first set forth in the Phantom Limb series from the mid eighties.
Rudolph Freiling described Lynn as, "the most influential female artist of new media.”
Portfolio of six 8'' x 10'' prints, and a DVD of the film. The print portfolio was produced from the digital alpha channels used to create Hershman's film Conceiving Ada