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Ada BYRON KING was the daughter of poet Lord BYRON, and is credited with having written the world\'s first computer program, a machine called the Analytic Engine. She is also the obsession of a woman named Emmy in this unique film that has an intriguing sci-fi premise and a stylized look. Emmy is fanatically devoted to finding a way to penetrate time with genetic information and to meet and talk with Ada BYRON. The two women live somewhat parallel lives; Ada and Emmy\'s mother are similarly overbearing and played by the same actress and their personal lives also are suspiciously similar.
Amy, a genius computer engineer and new media artist, focuses on developing a digital medium which lets people gain access to the past via digital interface, and communicate with the people in the past. In the midst of research and development, she comes to realize her pregnancy. She wants to abort her pregnancy for her passion over her work, but is driven to keep up with both tasks due to her partner’s intense objection.
Amy succeeds to create a cyber bird or the digital medium, and this cyber bird connects Amy with Ada LOVELACE, the actual historical figure, and world’s first computer programmer. When the cyber bird collapsed over the image of Ada, it is made possible for Amy to hear and see Ada’s life and to talk to each other. When Ada dies from some disease, Amy makes a dangerous choice. She tries to perpetuate Ada’s life on her own body. In this sense, the title of this film Conceiving Ada has a double meaning.
This film creates an interesting world in which feminism, technology, and artistic imagination co-exist, and three outstanding female figures are connected and inter-linked as one in this world. Those three outstanding female figures are Ada LOVELACE who could imagine computer language even before computer existed, Amy, the leading role, and the director herself who continued feminist new media works with her interests on technology. The overlap and divergence of these three figures itself in this film are interesting enough. (Jay SOHN)
Lynn HERSHMAN-LEESONLynn HERSHMAN-LEESON
Lynn HERSHMAN-LEESON is considered one of the most influential media artists and has made pioneering contributions in photography, video, film, performance, installation and interactive as well as net-based media art. Her activist films on injustice within the art world and society at large have been praised worldwide. !Women Art Revolution won first prize in the Montreal Festival for Films on Art and hailed by the Museum of Modern Art as one of the three best documentaries of 2012. Her 2009 film Strange Culture which The New York Times> deemed “the perfect balance of form and content” resulted in the release of an artist facing a prison sentence of 23 years.