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Sonya Rapoport, Leonardo/ISAST, Artist, Berkeley

From Homunculus to Golem: Tracking an Alter Avatar




November 29, 2004; 10 Minutes; Video

In recent years, scientists have advanced our ability to understand and control human sexuality, reproduction, and gender. These developments have been highly controversial and have implications for the constitution of artificially created beings. Berkeley-based media artist Sonya Rapoport draws on alchemy and mysticism to construct multimedia art works that address these dilemmas.

Combining ancient myths with modern technological sophistication, Rapoport will trace the evolution of her artwork through the past four decades, starting from her abstract expressionist paintings of the 60's to net art. Robert Edgar, media artist and historian, summarizes her early interdisciplinary work as a "mix between Marcel Duchamp and the anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss." Rapoport will present slides, video, and her recent interactive webworks, REDEEMING THE GENE, and KABBALAH/KABUL, in which she attributes a soul to an artificially created being, the golem