Lynn Hershman Leeson

Member Since February 22, 2005


Lynn Hershman Leeson

was recently cited as being one of the most influential media artists of our times. With a creative output ranging from early conceptual works and performance, to photo collages and videotapes, from tv and film to interactive installations, her work cannot be reduced to a single genre.

She received The Alfred P. Sloan award given to a writer/ director of a film that breaks traditional stereotypes and has recently received the Seimens Media Arts Award, the Flintridge Foundation Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts and an Independent Spirit Award nomination. She received the prestigious Golden Nica Prix Ars Electronica, known as the Oscar of Cyberspace.

She was named by the World Technology Network as one of the top five technological innovators in the arts

In Germany, ZDF commissioned eight feature length films, the ZKM Mediammuseum, owns five digital installations, The Wilhelm Lehmbruch Museum, and the DG Bank in Frankfurt own installations and photographs. Japan gave her the “Outstanding Drama” prize.

Her art work is collected internationally and is owned by The Museum of Modern Art (N.Y.), The National Gallery of Canada, The Walker Art Center , The University Art Museum, The Seattle Art Museum, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Hess Collection (Bern/Napa) as well as other private collections.

The Henry Art Gallery of Seattle will mount a major international museum
retrospective of her work which will tour nationally and internationally in 2006-2008, and recently received major grant from The Getty Foundation and The Warhol Foundation to support the exhibition. She is on the International Advisory Board for Leonardo, and a Film Commisioner for the city of San Francisco.

The University of California Press will release and distribute a monograph and DVD om 2006/2006 of titled “Secret Agents/Private I’s, The Art and Film of Lynn Hershman Leeson”.

This month Hershman was awarded the Cornell University A.D. White Professor at Large, the highest honor of the university . Past recipients include Antonioni, Eudora Welty, Toni Morrison and others.

She is a Pofessor at the University of Californian the Technocultural Studies Program.


“A seminal artist who has influenced our era, nationally and internationally”
Lawrence Rinder, Whitney Museum of American Art

Her work appeared institutionally and visibly several years before Cindy Sherman but what makes Hershman different from the more obvious strategies of Andy Warhol and Cindy Sherman (which slide along the surface of things) is her profundity. Hershman was willing to take a risk “
Amelia Jones Professor of Art History, Manchester University, England

“A visionary filmmaker, we strongly believe Lynn is a significant voice in independent cinema”
Michelle Satter, Sundance Institute

“Brings new vernacular to contemporary independent film…all in all it’s that rare sci-fi tale that actually leaves us wiser about our own time.
B. Ruby Rich, Sundance Catalogue

Hershman has been at the forefront of “new media” art since the 1970s, developing fluency in new digital technologies as they evolved.. She has been responsible for a number of technological innovations, including the first interactive computer-based artwork (Lorna, 1979-82), the first artwork to use touch-sensitive screen technology (Deep Contact, 1984-86), and the first networked telerobotic art installation (Difference Engine #3, 1995-99). Because of these breakthroughs Hershman is best known as a digital or “new media” artist. Many of the ideas embodied by Hershman’s artwork have seemed ahead of their time.
Robin Held, Curator, Seattle Art Museum.

Hershman’s is a prolific project of self-analysis and self-mythification that, through technologies of vision, multiplies and refracts fictional identities to the point of undermining any stable notion of identity. The trajectory of her work provides one of the better artistic mirrors we have for fragmented human subjectivity at the beginning of the 21st century.
Getty Foundation Grant Statement