Lynn Hershman Leeson: Conceiving Ada

Conceiving Ada, Lynn Hershman Leeson, 84' , USA / Germany, ZDF 23.2.1998, OV with German subtitles

In her cinematic work, the American artist Lynn Hershman-Leeson often plays thematically and formally with the idea of science fiction, without complying with the laws of the genre. When she first heard of Ada Byron, she knew right away that she wanted to make a film about her: “Also known as the ‘mother of all programmers’, Ada Byron King, Countess of Lovelace, wrote the first computer language and predicted its use in music, poetry and visual art.” The filmmaker worked with virtual sets and digital sound using a technique that Ada pioneered. In Tilda Swinton, she found the perfect cast for her feminist composition of a radical time-changer, who finally wants to become visible.

Lynn Hershman-Leeson (*1941) is an American media artist, whose work comprises films, installations, photography and performances. Her work has been shown at film festivals and in museums and galleries worldwide. While her films make allusions to the science fiction genre, they do so in experimental ways. For Das kleine Fernsehspiel, she made As Good as Love (1993), Conceiving Ada (1998) and Teknolust (2003), the last two also featured in the Berlinale Forum.