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Lynn Hershman «Lorna» | Installation view: ZKM | Center for Art and Media
Lynn Hershman, «Lorna», 1979 – 1984
Installation view: ZKM | Center for Art and Media | Photograph: ZKM Karlsruhe | © Lynn Hershman

Lynn Hershman «Lorna» | Installation view: ZKM | Center for Art and MediaLynn Hershman «Lorna»Lynn Hershman «Lorna»Lynn Hershman «Lorna»
United States | 300*300 cm (W*D) | Television, laserdisc player, video/audio on laserdisc, speaker, remote control, table, chair, television cable, gold fish bowl with a goldfish, a blouse, women's ankle boot, women's sandale, a check, newspapers, a flow-chart, comics, a bag of Uncle Sam Pecan Cookies, 2 photos, 3 miniature pictures (mixed media on paper). | Concept: Lynn Hershman | Music: Terry Allen | Participants: Joanna Mross | Programming: Ann Marie Gartie | Edition / Production: Texas Tech, Art Com | Archive / Collection: ZKM, Karlsruhe

 Lynn Hershman

«Lorna» belongs to the very early interactive works of art of the 1970s. Even before there were computer-supported systems to develop an dcontrol multimedia systems of presentations. Lynn Hershman's environment could be seen as prototype for interactive and non-linear film narrative. She presents the story of Lorna, a woman who lives in her apartment without any contact to the outside world. She suffers from loneliness and despair. An important object in this spatial seclusion is of course the television—mediator to the world and apparatus of interaction. The observer finds himself in the role of the protagonist again. He searches for the continuation of the story and for existential logic in the labyrinth of scenes. The jumps, circular arguments, and breaks in teh course of the pictures are bewildering, depicting the psychological state of the main character. Many more or less voyeuristic points of view form a piecture of the self-directed existence of a person only confronted with herself. Lynn Hershman's work ranges between bitter satire and desperate drama—the outcome remains open. Three possibilities can lead to the end of the story: despair and death by suicide, departure and escape by leaving the apartment followed by air travel, and—maybe the most thrilling variant of all—shooting the television. Death to the medium.
(Source: Media Art History, ed. by Hans-Peter Schwarz, ZKM Media Museum, Munich/Amsterdam 1997, p. 123.)