Exhibition Dates: April 9–September 5, 2022
From DNA to human emotions, Speculative Portraits explores how contemporary artists are drawing from technology and scientific research to expand on ideas of portraiture and identity. Spanning digital animation to sculpture, this focused presentation brings together select works by Heather Dewey-Hagborg, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Rhonda Holberton, Mika Tajima, and Gail Wight.
Installations include Tajima’s Human Synth (Los Angeles) (2019), a projected animation that mines social media feeds and displays the collective sentiment in the mesmerizing form of digital smoke, and Hershman Leeson’s Room #8 (2006–18), a major new acquisition that marks the culmination of the Bay Area artist’s investigation into custom antibodies and synthetic DNA. The exhibition also marks the 20th anniversary of Hershman Leeson’s SFMOMA web project commission Agent Ruby (1998–2002), which invites us to chat online with an artificially intelligent character.