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Euro(re)vision at the Goethe Institute London

Posted on: April 2nd, 2019 by libby


Euro(re)vision is a new commission from the Goethe Institute for their Europe Actually series of events. It is a moving image work and installation with deep fake versions of Theresa May and Angela Merkel performing dada poetry composed by machine learning algorithms trained 'wrongly' on political debates from the House of Commons and the Bundesstag.

Libby was interviewed by the Goethe Institute London, which you can read here.

The Goethe-Institut is the Federal Republic of Germany’s cultural institute, active worldwide. They promote the study of German abroad and encourage international cultural exchange.


This week Libby is presented her artwork Lady Chatterley's Tinderbot at Kosmopolis Festival at the Centre de Cultura Contemporania de Barcelona. She will also run a Lovely Chatterbot and Twitterature workshop exploring romantic codes in pre- and post-digital technologies and take part on the Amor Android panel alongside Núria Gómez Gabriel and  Joana Moll.

Her work at Kosmopolis is supported by the British Council Spain.

Kosmopolis is a biennial literary event that has been held at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB) since 2002.

The CCCB is a space for creation, research, exhibition and debate on contemporary culture where visual arts, literature, philosophy, film, music, transmedia activity and the performing arts are interconnected in an interdisciplinary programme.

The British Council is a British organisation specialising in international cultural and educational opportunities.

SUBSTRAND article for Somerset House Studios

Posted on: March 11th, 2019 by libby


Cornelia Prior has profiled Libby's work for Somerset House Studios, where Libby is currently a resident artist.

"With a chatbot trained on the Life in the UK citizenship test recently released, Somerset House Studios resident Libby Heaney wants to answer the question: how can we create an ethical framework for AI and quantum computing before it’s too late?"

Cornelia profiles Libby's recent work Britbot and her 2016-2017 Lady Chatterley's Tinderbot in the context of the accelerating pace of technological advancement.

Somerset House Studios is a new experimental workspace in the centre of London connecting artists, makers and thinkers with audiences. The Studios are a platform for the development of new creative projects and collaboration, promoting work that pushes bold ideas, engages with urgent issues and pioneers new technologies.

Cornelia is a writer, editor, digital producer, & horticulture student.

The full article is available here.

Noisy Chatterbots article for the V&A

Posted on: November 7th, 2018 by libby


Libby Heaney contributed an article Noisy Chatterbots to the V&A publication for the Digital Design Weekend 2018.

She discussed the potentials for generating new expressions of meaning and identity through the noise in machine learning systems. She spoke about her Sky Arts Art 50 commission in relation to this and drew on theory from Karen Barad, Hito Steyerl and Benjamin Bratton.

Arts Council England Project Grant Award

Posted on: October 9th, 2018 by libby


Libby has won an Arts Council England Project Grant for her Sky Arts commission Britbot.

Britbot is a net-based artwork exploring British identity. It is a voice and text activated chatbot that speaks to people about the topics in the UK government’s citizenship test and gradually learns from what they say. It will be online from Jul 18 to early Jan 19. The ACE funding is for a dedicated social media marketer to use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to engage people who wouldn’t usually interact with art, particularly from towns, rural communities and suburbs across England. The aim is to gain a wider understanding of ‘Britishness’ today.

Arts Council England champion, develop and invest in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people's lives. They support activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

Britbot exhibited at the V&A

Posted on: September 25th, 2018 by libby


Britbot was exhibited at the V&A Digital Design Weekend, 22nd-23rd September 2018.

Britbot is a net-based chatbot that speaks to you about 'Britishness' and gradually learns from what you say. Using machine learning and rule based techniques, Britbot was initially trained on the UK government's citizenship test and the corresponding textbook Life in the United Kingdom 2017. As it speaks to people it picks up new ideas about what it means to be British at this critical moment in history.

The V&A Digital Design Weekend 2018 is a weekend of free events exploring Artificial Intelligence, human-machine interaction and potential future worlds. Artists, designers, engineers and technologists take over the Museum with pop-up installations and performances.

The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 2.3 million objects that span over 5,000 years of human creativity.


‘Quantum Weaving’ on Soho Radio

Posted on: September 15th, 2018 by libby


Artist Byzantia Harlow and Libby Heaney speak Quantum Weaving on this month's Monthly Howl guest slot on the Free Seed cultural show on Soho Radio.

Weaving together fragments of art, science, technology, sound and image, the artists discuss mutual interests centred around their individual practices.

To catch the show, listen here from 27min40.

Soho Radio is an independent online radio station based in Soho, London. It was created in 2014 by Adrian Meehan, a musician and studio owner, to showcase Soho's vibrant and diverse culture.

'The Monthly Howl' is a new monthly art segment on Free Seed on Soho Radio. Each month an idea is explored in conversation with guest collaborators.

‘The Weaver was utterly alien. Like a tarantula, the Weaver picked one leg up at a time, lifting it very high and placing it down with the delicacy of a surgeon or an artist. A slow, sinister and inhuman movement.’

‘The Weavers evolved from virtually mindless predators into aestheticians of astonishing intellectual and materio-thaumaturgic power, super intelligent alien minds who no longer used their webs to catch prey, but were attuned to them as objects of beauty disentangling from the fabric of reality itself. Their spinnerets had become specialized extradimensional glands that Wove patterns in with the world. The world which was, for them, a web.’

‘To act - to Weave - was to bring about more pleasing patterns. They did not eat physical food: they seemed to subsist on the appreciation of beauty. A beauty unrecognized by humans.’

‘The Weaver stepped sideways and was gone. It had peeled away from the physical space. It was running acrobatically along the space of the worldweb.’

- - China Meiville, ‘Perdido Street Station’.


Britbot at Edinburgh TV Festival

Posted on: August 21st, 2018 by libby


Sky Arts Art 50 commission, Britbot is a netbased chatbot exploring British identity. It speaks to people about 'Britishness' and learns from what they say.

Britbot was exhibited at Edinburgh TV Festival this August.

"The Edinburgh TV Festival is the biggest and most prestigious media event in the UK. We bring together all parts of the television and digital world to celebrate creativity, diversity and inspirational talent in our field, and to debate the major issues facing us as an industry."


Britbot is a net based artwork by Libby Heaney, commissioned by Sky Arts Art 50. It consists of an AI dialogue system that chats to you about Britishness.

The system has rule based and generative components. The generative parts are trained on a 100+Mbs of text related to the topics in the British citizenship test. Born biased by design, Britbot highlights biases in both algorithms and attempts to quantify things like collective (national) identity. As Britbot speaks to people over the next 6 months it will gradually learn from what they say, becoming a wider algorithmic representation of so-called Britishness today.

In June, Britbot was presented at Sheffield International Documentary Festival with Sky Arts in Cutlers Hall.

The Festival includes film screenings, interactive and virtual reality exhibitions, talks & sessions, unmissable live events, and its own awards.

It has become the UK's biggest documentary festival and the third largest in the world. The BBC have called it "one of the leading showcases of documentary films".

Britbot was also presented at CogX Festival of AI, London.

The Festival of All Things AI, Blockchain and Emerging Technology.  In its inaugural year itself, CogX 2017 made a mark in the Artificial Intelligence domain by hosting a string of events that celebrated it.

Pic credit (1,3) Luba Elliot


In 2016 "net based" has been launched as a new prize in Switzerland, which aims to draw attention to the Internet as a platform for artistic activities and to make innovative web-based projects or projects inspired by the Internet accessible to a broader public; at the same time, it aims to raise the visibility of the Swiss scene in this genre, and promote international exchange.

Ten projects made it into the shortlist for the "net based - prize for net based art" 2018. The official prize of CHF 10’000.- is awarded by an international jury and will be officially announced at the award ceremony on May 26 2018, 6pm, at HeK.

Aside from the Jury-awarded main prize, it is possible to choose your own favourite project for the CHF 500.- audience award.

Lady Chatterley’s Tinderbot is the unlikely cross between the explicit 1928 novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence and the application for sexual encounters Tinder. The artist Libby Heaney has programmed a bot to converse with Tinder users by sending them excerpts of the novel, soliciting responses, surprising and scintillating questions, thus confusing the protocols that dictate communication via such an app. A selection of the resultant exchanges is presented on a touchscreen and as a book.

Beyond the encounter between two different expressions of seduction, the one an expression of amour and the other a more compulsive form, this work questions the relation to the other in this unique realm that is the game of seduction, whether human or bot.