karlsruhe-germany

Lynn Hershman Leeson, America’s Finest, 1994, M16 rifle, webcam, original software. Installation view.

Lynn Hershman Leeson

ZKM | Center for Art and Media

Lynn Hershman Leeson, America’s Finest, 1994, M16 rifle, webcam, original software. Installation view.

I'VE NEVER HAD works of art take so many photographs of me. Soon after entering Lynn Hershman Leeson’s recent show at the ZKM, I was met by Past Tense, 2014, a projection displaying a frantic succession of pictures of animals on the brink of extinction; the image collection was sourced by searching “endangered” on Flickr and was updated on a regular basis throughout the course of the exhibition. But these creatures were not the only things on display. My own picture, apparently taken moments ago by a smartphone on a pedestal as I was peering at the installation, was smuggled in at regular intervals between the cougars and cheetahs—ostensibly to engage me, the (equally endangered?) viewer, more forcefully and perhaps to remind me that my own existence in the fragile ecology of our planet is not unrelated to the plight of this threatened fauna.

Shortly after, I encountered a

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