Latest News

AI Chanting excerpts released

Posted on: February 25th, 2021 by libby


Listen here:

Nabihah Iqbal and I have released excerpts of our AI chanting project The Whole Earth Chanting with Radar, Loughborough Universities contemporary art programme.

The work which will receive its full, live premiere later in 2021 at Emmanuel Church, Loughborough.

Commissioned by Radar as part of its Risk Related programme, The Whole Earth Chanting pushes against the widespread use of artificial intelligence to manage (supposed) risks in the service of the status quo.

The artist and quantum physicist Libby Heaney recorded various human and non-human 'chants', and then trained an AI programme to produce its own chants. Recordings of the original and AI-generated chants were then passed to her collaborator, fellow Somerset House resident and musician, Nabihah Iqbal, who has woven them into a 45 minute work for live performance through a soundsystem.

In the work, Heaney and Iqbal *take a risk* with AI by opening it up to the unknown so as to be open to new modes of experience and relation through the power of voice, sound and music. When performed live, it will generate forms of belonging and collective identity between humans and non-humans physically and sonically present in the space: a post-human spiritualism in which human perception is entangled with the material world. As religious chants blur with football fans’ singing, birds and Iqbal's voice, the boundaries of categories through which we usually understand the world are dissolved, creating a transcendental journey enabling the ‘other’ to enter and transform.

For more information, see

New artwork for Interruptions at Holden Gallery

Posted on: January 6th, 2021 by libby


Heaney is presenting two new interactive Instagram Stories animations for Holden Gallery, Manchester's Interruptions series of events.

Heaney's new artwork, entitled 'Agency is the Ability to Act', explores the concept of human and machine agency within social media apps. The title comes from Karen Barad's theory of agential reality. This is Heaney's second artwork critically using Instagram Stories as her medium, the first being touch is response-ability which was commissioned by Hervisions at LUX during the first lockdown 2020.

More information about the online performances can be found on the Holden Gallery website here.

The Holden Gallery is situated at the centre of Manchester School of Art, and housed in the original building which was built in 1880.  The Holden Gallery has a fully curated exhibitions programme that focuses exclusively on recent developments in international contemporary visual art, exploring thematic ideas through the work of key established and mid-career artists.


Heaney's Cephalopod Alien (Study with a Quantum Computer) is now available to buy via Somerset House Shop.

The print uses the plurality and interconnectedness of quantum entanglement and superposition to highlight the boundary-less and formlessness of bodies.

Here's a bit more about the process: Heaney made a watercolour painting on really wet paper, so the paint behaved like waves and the colours interfered with each other, mirroring the blurry quantum reality. Once the painting had dried, Heaney scanned the image and ecoded it on qubits. The image in the print shows the form deconstructing and becoming quantum wavelike and scattered, as it was viewed through the lens of other quantum dimensions.


Available to pre-order* Limited edition prints will be shipped from Thursday 3rd December, please allow up to 10 days for delivery post receipt of purchase. 

Artwork title: Cephalopod Alien (study with a quantum computer) 

Artwork year: 2019

Print description: A watercolour painting of a squid diffracted by entanglement in a quantum computer.  

Each edition is limited to 100, hand-numbered and accompanied by a signed letter of authenticity from the artist. 50% of all proceeds after production go directly to the artist, with the remaining 50% going to Somerset House Trust to support the Young Talent Fund.

Print size: A2: 420 x 594mm

Copyright: Libby Heaney

Artist Profile

A2 Giclée Prints | Hand-numbered archival reproduction on 255gsm Somerset Velvet pure cotton rag | Rolled in pH neutral, acid-free tissue paper | Packaged in 100mm diameter, 550mm length matt black tube.

Quantum Zeitgeist Interview

Posted on: October 27th, 2020 by libby



Libby was interviewed about her hybrid quantum and art practice by the online magazine Quantum Zeitgeist. You can read the interview here.

Quantum Zeitgeist aims to bring together different segments of the Quantum sector. The growing field of Quantum Computing has a range of skill-sets from Academic research to Applications. Quantum Zeitgeist brings all of these areas together, where readers can explore the latest Quantum technological developments all the way to the latest news from start-ups and market insights and trends.


Berlin Science Week with Light Art Space

Posted on: October 6th, 2020 by libby


What can quantum science teach us about the way we make sense of our world?

A talk with Berlin-based Light Art Space for Berlin Science Week.

Libby Heaney is a London-based artist, researcher and physicist whose practice connects quantum physics, machine learning and our environment through performance, Virtual Reality and participatory experience. She makes use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence to question the machine's forms of categorisation and expand technology beyond its predominant purpose. On the occasion of Berlin Science Week 2020, Heaney delivers a talk on the uses of quantum computing, its controversies and potential applications in society.

What are quantum computers and how do they depend on quantum physics? Why are corporations and governments interested in quantum computing? What can quantum science teach us about the way we make sense of our world? In what way can the discipline impact how we tell stories, build meaning and create art?

In this lecture, Heaney gives insight into quantum computing and the challenges it holds for the future of making art. Her talk is followed by discussions with philosopher Professor Jenann Ismael and quantum scientist Professor Vlatko Vedral. Together, they will explore the impact quantum physics can have on our day-to-day-reality when transposed from the micro to the macro world.

This talk conveys the core subject matter of a new work being developed by the artist and commissioned by Light Art Space (LAS), for which Heaney uses IBM’s cloud-based Q System One quantum computers. Art can acquire the tools to rupture causality by following the tenets of quantum science, which creates a space where entities – human, non-human, machine – relate, interfere and entangle.

5 Nov 2020, 6 PM
Berlin Science Week 2020

Visions in the Nunnery performance

Posted on: September 13th, 2020 by libby


Ressurection (Top of the Bots) will be presented at Bow Art's Nunnery Gallery on 20th Oct 2020 (outdoors and socially distanced) as part of their biennial Visions in the Nunnery programme.

Resurrection (TOTB) is the second iteration of Libby's Top of the Bots: Karaoke Night participatory performance (Arts Council England funded). During the evening, audience members volunteer to sing and appear and move as the original musician on a screen via live AI algorithms. In between songs, the host Sammy James Britten playfully discusses ideas around power, desire, control and truth with the audience.

Established in 1999, Visions in the Nunnery is a renowned showcase of moving image, digital and performance art, selected from an international open call.

The show offers an informed overview of the provocative and quick-changing mediums of moving image and performance, with works selected from across the world. Over the years Visions has exhibited artists including Oreet Ashery, Tacita Dean, Ori Gersht, Dryden Goodwin, Susan Hiller, Mikhail Karikis, Tina Keane, Lawrence Lek, Uriel Orlow and Heather Phillipson, many at the very early stages of their careers.

Amplify Digital Arts Initiative

Posted on: September 2nd, 2020 by libby


Amplify Digital Arts Initiative new website is now live. Libby participated in the programme at Mutek Montreal in 2019 and was due to present her work with Amplify in Buenos Aires and at Somerset House in 2020 (cancelled due to Covid).

Libby's profile can be viewed here and the full list of supported artists here.

Amplify Digital Arts Initiative connects and empowers an active network of women-identifying artists and professionals working in the digital arts, sound and immersive storytelling sectors in Canada, Latin America and the UK.

Harnessing different cultures and experiences, AMPLIFY D.A.I fosters a platform for dialogue on gender equity and commits resources to career and capacity building activities, peer exchanges and opportunities for cohort participants to showcase their work in the context of dynamic, contemporary festivals, events and residencies.

AMPLIFY D.A.I is an initiative of the British Council in partnership with MUTEK Montréal, MUTEK Buenos Aires and Somerset House Studios in the UK. The programme is supported by Canada Council for the Arts and Fundación Williams.


Libby was awarded an ACE project grant to complete her on going project Figures in Limbo. Figures in Limbo arose from the research undertaken on the Space Art + Tech residency Jan - March 2020.

Figures in Limbo is a timely and important investigation into representations of bodies in machine learning/computer vision. By making connections to visible/neglected bodies in art history, the piece will highlights how cultural/historical biases are now being translated into code. The work looks at the current capitalist context of emerging technologies, comparing it to religious/enlightenment contexts of canonical artworks. The title refers to the central panel in Bosch’s triptych The Last Judgement.

Figures in Limbo takes the form of a partially playable film made in Unity, taking place across 3 scenes: The first shows visible bodies & talks about how biases in depictions of the body in machine learning are similar to those in western art history. The second scene, set in Limbo, examines both visible bodies & neglected ones. The third uses quantum computers to suggest a formless body beyond the illusions of representation.

The funding is to collaborate with musician Barney Kass on the sound track; to write a narrative using AI and surrealist method and to run a workshop discussing biases in AI datasets of bodies and 3D scanning bodies neglected from these datasets for inclusion in the work. The final piece will be presented in Ilford at Space Studios Gallery & on their website in 2021.


Real Time Constraints at Arebyte Gallery

Posted on: July 13th, 2020 by libby


Libby will be presenting her video work Elvis as part of Arebyte Gallery's Real Time Constraints online exhibition.

Taking the form of a browser plug-in, the exhibition reveals itself as a series of pop-ups where the works are disseminated over the duration of a typical working day, interrupting the screen to provide a ‘stopping cue’ from relentless scrolling, email notifications and other computer-centered, interface-driven work.  Real-Time Constraints presents itself as a benevolent invasion - the size, quantity, content and sound of the pop-ups have been decided upon by each artist to feed into the networked performance. The exhibition is experienced through a synchronised global approach where viewers encounter the same pop-ups at the same time no matter where they are, amplifying the exhibition’s disturbance of mundanity across every time zone.  

Real-Time Constraints makes its primary argument through a reconfiguration of the usually annoying and uninvited browser pop-up, turning what is typically a tool of the system (and its owners) into a user-centric 'stopping cue.' Stopping cues were most prevalent in the 20th Century as a way to signal the end of something, the space in between one activity and the next. Stopping cues imposed a choice for the viewer: do you want to continue watching/reading/listening, or do you want to do something else? They also make available the mental space one needs to digest what they've just experienced, enabling useful processing of information, and thus, satisfaction through action. 


There will be an online 'opening' on 23rd July when some of the artists will be present. Libby will also take part in a panel discussion on the 6th Aug when she and other artists will talk about the exhibition, about biases, surveillence and privacy in AI and also about how artist may influence the development of AI technologies.

arebyte Gallery is a London-based art organisation which supports the development of artists working across digital and emerging artforms. 

Following in the long tradition of artists experimentation with new technologies, arebyte Gallery has led a pioneering programme since 2013, to much acclaim. From web-based work to multimedia installations including Virtual and Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Generated Images and 3D printing, the gallery commissions new works from emerging, as well as more established artists. The gallery supports multiple voices in digital cultures across the UK and internationally to bring innovative perspectives to art through new technologies.



Hervisions at LUX have commissioned Libby for a new site-specifc artwork performed on LUX's Instagram Stories.

touch is response-ability, tuuch os rispunsabilitreaeaeaea is a site-specific interactive animation, where the participants’ touch controls the movement of the frames. Using Instagram stories as a medium Libby Heaney presents two durational performances that invite viewers to activate the animation through the action of touch. Each performance will last for 24 hours on LUX Instagram.

The first and last stills in each performance were created by Heaney based on extensive research into representations of the body in computer vision and artificial intelligence and parallels in art history, highlighting the biases in which bodies are seen and neglected in both. The subsequent frames in the animation were generated by passing the initial frame through a quantum computer, which through entangled pixels, fragments and inverts the image.

In every frame the body from the initial image always exists but the quantum computer enables us to see it from alternative, multiple perspectives – boundary-less and form-less. The stills are watched with a computer vision algorithm – Open-Pose – which loses track of the body as it is released from its encoded shackles.

touch is response-ability, tuuch os rispunsabilitreaeaeaea is part of HERVISIONS’ evolving curatorial digital initiative OUT of TOUCH. Through a constellation of femme-focused dialogues, OUT of TOUCH probes ways in which screen-based dialogues remediate the lack of touching in the absence of physical connection.

LUX is an international arts agency that supports and promotes artists’ moving image practices and the ideas that surround them. The only organisation of its kind in the UK, LUX  represents the country’s only significant collection of artists’ film and video, and is the largest distributor of such work in Europe. LUX works with a large number of major institutions including museums, galleries, festivals and educational establishments, as well as directly with the public and artists.

HERVISIONS is a femme-focussed curatorial agency facilitating online and offline experiences and collaborations with partners to research and produce innovative commissions, exhibitions and events with a strong focus on the intersection of art, technology and culture. Previous exhibitions and partners include, Art Night, Tate Modern, Tate Britain, arebyte Gallery,-D x Chanel, Adidas, Selfridges, Boiler Room, LN-CC, BFI, Gossamer Fog, The London College of Fashion, isthisit?, Mira Festival, LOOM Festival and Google Arts and Culture.