Shadow Stalker

Lynn Hershman Leeson (2019)

Shadow Stalker addresses the troubling implications of implementing artificial intelligence in the social sphere. Those who enter their email address will trigger an internet search of their digital footprint—the trail of data that they create online. Their results will appear within a projected body-shaped shadow that stands in for their own. Offering a poignant reminder of the degree of people’s (self-) exposure, this digital reflection confronts users with information they may not even remember having volunteered. The project highlights people’s vulnerability in an economic environment in which personal data has become the most valuable commodity. In the accompanying video, a figure whom Lynn Hershman Leeson calls the “Spirit of the Deep Web” warns against complacency toward one’s online privacy: “Take hold of your avatar. Honor your shadow. Hold it tight. It contains your future and your past, and, like DNA, history refuses to evaporate.”

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Single-channel video installation with original programmed interactivity


Courtesy of Lynn Hershman Leeson; Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco; and Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York