As The Shed’s first guest curator, critic Nora N. Khan has organized Manual Override, a group exhibition with artists Lynn Hershman Leeson, Sondra Perry, Simon Fujiwara, Martine Syms, and Morehshin Allahyari.
The exhibition centers on the pioneering filmmaker and artist Lynn Hershman Leeson, whose artistic practice involves collaborations with cutting-edge geneticists, scientists, and engineers. Hershman Leeson will premiere the final episode of her seminal work First Person Plural: The Complete Electronic Diaries (1984 – 2019), a series of confessional videos exploring the complex interplay between DNA editing, trauma, identity, and survival. The Shed will also present a new commission by Hershman Leeson, Shadow Stalker (2019).
Perry, Fujiwara, Syms, and Allahyari will adapt Leeson’s collaborative model as a prototype, each pairing with programmers, engineers, AI experts, and scientists. In Manual Override, these artists continue to create their own hybrid practices to reframe, reimagine, and even intervene in dominant technological narratives. Together, this group of artists suggests how we might override our coded, genetic, and social programming to expand the limits of what personal, artistic, and intellectual inquiry can be.