Lynn Hershman Leeson: Civic Radar

Cover of the publication »Lynn Hershman Leeson: Civic Radar«

Type of publication
Exhibition catalog
Author / Editor
Peter Weibel (Ed.)
Publishing house, place
Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern

»Lynn Hershman Leeson: Civic Radar« is the irst comprehensivef monograph of the international star of media art, Lynn Hershman Leeson. She is one of the first and most influential media artists. During the past five decades she has done pioneering work in the fields of photography, video, film, performance, installation, and interactive and net-based media art. Hershman Leeson’s major themes are the construction of identity, surveillance and control, and life in the age of genetic engineering. Her most well-known series is Roberta Breitmore (1973­-78)—, a fictional character embodied by her and three other women, in part simultaneously. A kind of clone of the artist, her life is staged in real time and space. In her most recent works, Hershman Leeson includes web applications and mass communication media such as smartphones, as well as the latest scientific developments in the field of genetics and regenerative medicine, including 3D bioprinters that create human body parts.

With texts by Andreas Beitin, Pamela Lee, Peggy Phelan, Ruby Rich, Jeffrey Schnapp, Kyle Stephan, Kristine Stiles, Tilda Swinton, Peter Weibel and interview by Hou Hanru and Laura Poitras with the artist.


"13. INDISPENSABLE BOOKS arrived, among them [...] “Civic Radar,” by Lynn Hershman Leeson, accompanying her retrospective at ZKM/Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany [...]."
––– Holland Cotter and Roberta Smith, "The Best of Art of 2016", in: »The New York Times«, December 7, 2016

"This book is a profound read, offering an insight to this generous and profound artists’ fantastical journey in an era marked by accelerating change. And what’s so amazing is that the content, the narratives, and the histories, are real. It is an Aladdin’s Cave of rich, exceptional artworks, flowing with brilliant ideas. Hershman Leeson has had her finger right on the pulse of what’s relevant in the world for a long time, and transmuted the knowledge she unearths in her examination of identity, feminism, science, technology and more into her own artistic language.
Her work is way ahead of most contemporary artists showing now. This book should be read everywhere. Not just because it features great art, but also because features a great woman with a great mind. I am not a fan of the words genius or masterpiece; I find them tiresome terms reflecting a form of male domination over women and the non-privileged classes. Yet, after spending time with Civic Radar, I cannot help myself thinking that I have just witnessed something equivalent without the negative baggage attached."
––– Marc Garrett, "Lynn Hershman Leeson's – Civic Radar: Book",, May 18, 2016


Graphic design: Jan Kiesswetter

384 pp., 500 ill. 21.00 x 26.70 cm, hardcover
ISBN 978-3-7757-4102-6
Production / Corporation / Exhibition
ZKM | Center for Art and Media

About the editors