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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.


Quantum Fake at Science Gallery Dublin

Posted on: March 3rd, 2018 by libby


Libby's new virtual reality artwork has been commissioned by the Science Gallery Dublin as part of their Fake exhibition.

Science Gallery Dublin is a world first — a venue where today's white-hot scientific issues are thrashed out.  A place where science and art collide.  Since opening in 2008, nearly 3 million people have visited the Science Gallery Dublin — ranking it among the top ten free cultural attractions in Ireland.

About Quantum Fake:

In an age of ubiquitous digital reproduction, is there any way to safeguard information so it cannot be copied? Quantum Fake is a virtual reality experience inspired by the concepts underpinning quantum cryptography. At the atomic scale, deep in the realm of quantum mechanics, any information that is unknown (to a person or to a light ray, for instance) is forever secret and cannot be copied. The artwork casts this logic over the gallery, as some viewers encounter a world where our usual perceptions of time, space and form are transformed.

The work will be exhibited at the Science Gallery until June 2018.

Photo credit Science Gallery Dublin.

How a Tinderbot reminds us of human connection

Posted on: February 14th, 2018 by libby


The Science Gallery in Dublin have written about Lady Chatterley's Tinderbot this Valentine's Day.  The artwork featured in their 2017 exhibition Humans Need Not Apply , which asked 'Can we prosper in a world in which robots and artificial intelligence can do every job we have today?'

Science Gallery Dublin is a world first — a venue where today's white-hot scientific issues are thrashed out. A place where science and art collide.

Performance with Art with Heart at The Lowry

Posted on: January 15th, 2018 by libby


Selected chapters from Lady Chatterley's Tinderbot were performed by Libby Heaney and Art with Heart's Sarah Emmott at The Lowry as part of their humansbeingdigital exhibition, which features Heaney's piece.  The artwork features conversations between an automated Tinderbot posing as characters of Lady Chatterley's Lover and other users of the Tinder dating app.  A video of the event was streamed live on Facebook and is available here.

Photo credit: Nathan Chandler

BBC News and Radio 4 interview

Posted on: November 17th, 2017 by libby


Libby discussed her artwork Lady Chatterley's Tinderbot with the BBC last week as The Lowry exhibition humansbeingdigital featuring the work opens to the public until 25th Feb '18.

A short interview with Libby was also played on the 6pm news on BBC Radio 4, 16th Nov - you can listen here from around 25mins.