BIO-DOT-BOT: Lynn Hershman Leeson Shorts

Presented by the Penny Stamps Distinguished Speaker Series
  • Commercial for Myself
  • Seduction of a Cyborg
  • Logic Paralyzes the Heart
  • Lynn Turning into Roberta
  • Cyborgian Rhapsody -Immortality
  • Test Patterns



Curated by Julia Yezbick

Lynn Hershman Leeson’s short films distill the impetus of her decades-long work: a quest for freedom from the many constraints imposed on us by society. Responding to the social and scientific technologies of the day, Hershman Leeson’s work anticipates the quandaries into which we will be collectively thrown by our headlong spiraling into technological determinism.This film screening will include a live partially remote conversation of the work. Lynn Hershman Leeson will remotely join curator Julia Yezbick on stage following the film program.

Commercial for Myself

Lynn Hershman Leeson
1978 | 2 | video

This short “portrait” of the artist was screened on public television.

Seduction of a Cyborg

Lynn Hershman Leeson
1994 | 7 | video
Part of the Cyborg series, the premise of this digital video is that technology can infect the body

Logic Paralyzes the Heart

Lynn Hershman Leeson
2021 | 14 | digital video

For indexing the cybernetic concerns…

Lynn Turning into Roberta

Lynn Hershman Leeson
1978 | 6 | 16mm

This short film documents the transformation of Hershman Leeson into her performance persona, Roberta Breitmore.


Cyborgian Rhapsody—Immortality

Lynn Hershman Leeson
2023 | 12 | digital video
Film In Competition
Part four of the Cyborg installation series, this piece was written and narrated by Sarah, a ChatGPT-3 chatbot. Sarah predicts human’s ability to survive if only they can get past their biggest obstacles: hatred and discrimination, but she cries at the thought that she was not programmed to love.


Test Patterns

Lynn Hershman Leeson
1979 | 10 | digital video

In this “factional docudrama,” a “test pattern man” personifies television media. When an interviewer asks him about his memories of the Kennedy assassination (which is shown in reenactment), he references the vapid content on other channels that day. Features Timothy Leary.

Lynn Hershman Leeson is an American multimedia artist and filmmaker. Her work combines art with social commentary, particularly on the relationship between people and technology. Hershman Leeson is a pioneer in new media, and her work with technology and in media-based practices helped legitimize digital art forms. Her interests include feminism, race, surveillance, artificial intelligence, and identity theft through algorithms and data tracking. She has been referred to as a new media pioneer for the prescient incorporation of new science and technologies in her work. She is based in San Francisco, California.

Julia Yezbick (she/her) is a filmmaker, artist, and anthropologist. She received her PhD in Media Anthropology and Critical Media Practice from Harvard University and an MA in Visual Anthropology from the University of Manchester. Her research takes an integrated approach to inquiry, often using multimodal methods. Yezbick’s creative practice is primarily one of experimental nonfiction that addresses topics of labor, movement and the body, feminism, and social commentary on issues ranging from ethnicity and gender to housing and urban transformations.