Headline November 27 2019/ '' 'CYBORGIAN FUTURE! ' '' : SHE SAID



Because they are digital natives who were born into this era. I feel that young people have this passion to save the planet, and to save humanity.''

Ms. Hershman Leeson advanced the art world into our cyborgian present with works like ''Lorna''  [1983], an interactive video in which viewers explore the contents of an avatar's apartment and make choices for her.

''It took 25 years to show her, because no one knew what it was,'' she says. ''At that point it looked like an antique.'' She began working with programmers on ''Agent Ruby,'' an A.I. bot now in the collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, in 1995. ''Agent Ruby doesn't fail,'' the artist said with a note of pride. 

In 1994, the genius artist turned the camera on the real Lynn Hershman Lesson and began recording what would become the hour long edit of her life, the ''Electronic Dairies''.

''It was like this omnipotent presence, the Cycloptic eye that was watching and listening and not saying anything, but letting me say anything I wanted,'' she remembers of her early relationship with the camera.

Indeed, her real-life therapist was later taken aback to discover the artist had given up certain revelations to the camera that she hadn't brought to their sessions. And the events of her life, as she recounts in the ''Diaries,'' was traumatic.

She experienced extreme violence in her family as a child, suffered heart failure during pregnancy that left her in a hospital for four months and battled a brain tumor.

The camera helped her ''come to consciousness,'' to evolve, to externalize herself and to survive. It also provided a venue to reflect on the watershed events in the world, like the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the meteoric pace scientific and technological advancements.

''We've become a society of screens, of different layers,'' she says in an early early installment of the  ''Diaries.'' ''The truth is almost unbearable. ''A Cyborgian future, that's what I see,'' she reflects later on in the piece

MS. HERSHMAN LEESON, WHO IS at once warm and enigmatic in person, has from her earliest days held a sharp critical light to technological and scientific developments -

Exploring the possibilities of their abuse by the powerful as much as their more utopian promise - and always grappling with their relationship to our identities, often from a very personal point of view.

''THE STARKNESS AND FLATNESS'' of the way the code profiles individuals is what what Ms. Hershan Leeson wants people to feel, said Nora Khan, the exhibition's curator.

''This very limited set of data is being used to determine who you are as a human being,'' she said, noting that, given the Shed's footprint within the Hudson Yards development-

And the limits of its demographics reach, the technology ''would be less effective if it were just about  Predpol and low-income communities, as opposed to those who have done insider crimes, insider trading, white-collar crimes.'' A monitor in the installation will give predictive percentages for white-collar crimes by ZIP code.

Ms. Hershaman's best known work centers on a character named Roberta Breitmore, an alter ego she created in 1972. A shy, neurotic blonde, Roberta conformed to the era's archetypal feminine ideal.

Ms. Hershman Leeson created charts that determined her makeup and hair, and took to various public places dressed as the character. She hired a photographer to snap paparazzi-style shots of her, developed her credit history, and had her attend therapy sessions.

[The artist initially played Roberta herself, but later hired actors to share the role]. Like a digital avatar that roamed the real world, existing by way of ephemera and documentation, Roberta foreshadowed our self-conscious, voyeuristic relationship to social media.

Roberta, was an extension of a habit the artist had developed as a child, of inventing characters to escape a difficult home life. But Roberta also embodied an incisive critique, pointing to the ways that social conventions and state apparatuses encode and prescribe identities.

''I needed to build her so that she would exist in history and be more relevant and credible than I was,'' the artist said. '

'And she was! She got credit cards, and I couldn't, She got a bank account, she got a driver's license. Everybody thought I was crazy. Anyone I told thought I was schizophrenic, or bipolar.''

The artist comes from a family of scientists, and her daughter and only child. Dawn Hershman, leads breast cancer research at Columbia University. Ms. Hershman Leeson has long worked with people of different disciplines, and science is fruitful territory for her artistic imagination

Antibodies look for toxins and attempt to use the immune system to cure those toxins,'' she said. ''In a sense that's what art does. It goes into the cultural body and looks for things poisonous and toxic and does things to either bring light to them or to heal them in some way.''

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on The World Students Society - for every subject in the world - : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Toxins & Truth '''

Good Night and God Bless

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