Conceiving Ada
Lynn Hershman Leeson

Beaux-Arts de Paris
Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Lynn Hershman Leeson, Conceiving Ada, 1997. Film, 85 miunutes. Courtesy of the artist

A prophetic and feminist film created by US visual artist and director Lynn Hershman Leeson, Conceiving Ada unfolds around the figure of Lady Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron and a forgotten mathematical genius of the history of ideas—written through a men's only perspective.

Articulating the figure of Ada, author of the first digital algorithm, and Emmy Coer, a contemporary researcher, the film proposes a cyberspace journey through time, identities, and modes of representation of reality and fiction. A meditation on memory, immortality and virtual reality.

Lynn Hershman Leeson's first feature-length fiction film, this unique work was also the first collaboration between the director and British actress Tilda Swinton (Ada), before the films Teknolust (2003), and Strange Culture (2009).

Born in 1941 in Cleveland, Ohio, Lynn Hershman Leeson lives and works in San Francisco. A pioneer of "digital art," she has been studying since the 1960s the interactions between technology, media, and identity, as well as the relationship between body and technology. She has been interested in artificial intelligence and virtual reality since the 1990s. Recent exhibitions include her monographic exhibitions in 2018 at the Kunst-Werke in Berlin and the House of Electronic Arts in Basel (2018), as well as her participation in 2019 in the collective exhibition Producing Futures on post-cyber-feminism at the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich.