Lilith as Venus Wading in the Petri Dish

Sonya Rapoport

From Homunculus to Golem: Tracking an Alter Avatar

Date 12/29/04

Affiliation Artist, Leonardo/ISAST, Berkeley


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


Sonya Rapoport is a multi-media artist and pioneer in computer based art. Her multi-cultural net artworks have been shown in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Ars Electronica, Austria; Documenta, Kassel, Germany; the Kuopio Museum, Finland; the SETI Workshop, Paris and the Buenos Aires Bienniel, Argentina. as well as ISEA conferences and traveling exhibitions sponsored by the U.S. Information Service and the National Endowment for the Arts. National venues include Siggraph, Digital Salon and one-person exhibitions at The Palace of the Legion of Honor, the Peabody Museum at Harvard, the San Jose Museum, The New School, Artists Space, Franklin Furnace, and 80 Langton Street, Rapoport serves on the governing board of LEONARDO/ISAST. Her critiques appear in their MIT publications. She also serves on the Executive Committee for University of California Art Practice Alumni Group.

-- As of 12/29/04

Updated Bio

Sonya Rapoport, new media artist, has produced computer assisted, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary artworks and interactive installations since the mid-1970ís. These works have been presented at Sao Paulo, Brazil; Ars Electronica, Austria; DOCUMENTA, Kassel, Germany; and the Kuopio Museum in Finland. ISEA(S), Digital Salon(s), and Siggraph have hosted her electronic artworks. Her concept for communicating altruisms to extra-terrestrials was presented in 2004 at the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) workshop in Paris, later to become the web work, Kabbalah/Kabul. Recent venues for her artwork include the Art Biennial-Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain; International Symposium of Interactive Media Design Istanbul, Turkey; the Whitney Biennial, 2006, and BIO4, 2007,Seville, Spain. A reproduction from her Inter-Active Installation ANIMATED SOUL: Gateway to your Ka was on the cover of LEONARDO JOURNAL, vol.39, number 2 2006 The issue included her autobiographical DIGITIZING THE GOLEM from Earth to Outer-Space. She is on the International Advisory Committee for the Symposium MUTAMORPHOSIS being organized in Prague in 2007.

Sonya Rapoportís extensively published writings include art and book reviews. Her critiques have appeared in the MIT publication Leonardo/ISAST for which she serves on the governing board.

-- As of 1/12/07