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.


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