Seduction of a Cyborg

Human Resources LA 
October 7-23, 2016
Co-curated with Hannah Grossman and Simone Krug 
Seduction of a Cyborg explores intimacy, sex, and desire as related to technocratic fantasies of futurity, (re)production of bodies, and fractured selfhood in the digital age. The fictional and the virtual intersect, exposing narratives that activate, transform, and deconstruct our understanding of the networked and plugged-in subject. The exhibition springs from an engagement with the work of Lynn Hershman Leeson, a foundational feminist artist whose work has explored selfhood and technology for over fifty-years. The exhibition places special focus on Hershman Leeson’s feature-length film Teknolust (2002), in which a female bio-geneticist downloads her own DNA to produce cyborgnetic clones that subsist on sexually obtained Y-chromosomes and act as “portals” on the internet where users fulfill fantasies and dreams.

This exhibition considers this and other early works by Hershman Leeson as a point of inception in examining a range of practices by artists, which include video, photography, installation, and web-based projects. Seduction of a Cyborg presents historical and contemporary works that call on critical ideas of and around technofeminism, queer theory, and disembodiment. The erotic innuendo inherent in the politics and possibilities of nascent technologies, as well as a longing for an era of low-fi and analogue, mark points of interest that extend from the 1990s to today. Other works realize fantastical and futuristic (gender) identities, presenting body parts that have been biotechnologically produced and avatar identities that assume mutable identities online. In the realm of the virtual, the imaginary knows no limits.

Artists in the exhibition include: Sadie Benning; Hannah Black; Johanna Breiding; Shu Lea Cheang; Linda Dement; Ricardo Dominguez, Francesca da Rimini, and Michael Grimm; Deanna Erdmann; Lynn Hershman Leeson; Faith Holland; Juliana Huxtable; Martine Neddam; Alexei Shulgin; Vertical Blanking (Kim McKillip and Michael J. Masucci); and Pinar Yoldas.

Seduction of a Cyborg is curated by David Evans Frantz, Hannah Grossman, and Simone Krug, 2017 MA Candidates in Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere Program at the USC Roski School of Art and Design.

This exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by the USC Roski School of Art and Design.

Find more information about this exhibition here.

Deanna Erdmann, Untitled Amateur Lesbian Video II (After Bathroom Sluts), 2015. Digital video from digitized VHS tape, 5 minutes. Courtesy of the artist