Sci-Femme Retrospective

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In the early-1980s, American artist Lynn Hershman developed the first interactive video art disk, which featured Lorna, an indecisive agoraphobe living a 'remote control life.' Viewers navigated the thirty-six chapters encapsulating Lorna's seventeen minutes on film to create personalized stories. Now this and other formative cyberfeminist works by Hershman are on view in a touring retrospective opening November 5, at Seattle's Henry Art Gallery. 'Hershmanlandia' surveys thirty-five years of new media art, film, and video work. Besides working with digital avatars and surveillance technologies, Hershman has crossed over into the realm of feature filmmaking with two movies critics dubbed 'feminist science fiction.' Starring iconic actress Tilda Swinton, these experimental comedies revolve around themes of artificial intelligence, cloning, and virtual identity. Recently, Hershman has bridged the gap between her media art and film by translating a character from her 'Teknolust' into the web-based persona, Agent Ruby. This sensitive avatar verbally responds to users' queries, so come with questions prepared. - Matt Wolf