Newsletter #4

Libby Heaney - launch of Britbot, a Sky Arts 50 commission

www.britbot.org

 

 Photo courtesy Luba Elliot.

Photo courtesy Luba Elliot.

Britbot is an online voice or text activated chatbot that asks open-ended questions about ‘Britishness’ and through its conversations develops its own ideas of what constitutes Britishness. The bot’s initial training has been based on the UK government’s citizenship test and the corresponding text-book Life in the United Kingdom 2017. Introduced in 2005 by the Labour government, the then immigration minister Tony McNulty stressed, ‘This is not a test of someone's ability to be British or a test of their Britishness. It is about looking forward, rather than an assessment of their ability to understand history’. The test, however, became notorious in 2011, when the coalition government changed it to focus extensively on British history and culture, with David Cameron famously flunking it live on the David Letterman show.

Britbot will be live for six months from 1st July 2018 and will learn from the people it interacts with. Its aim is to gather and reflect diverse views and insights about what the nebulous concept of ‘Britishness’ means today, becoming an algorithmic representation of the people it speaks to. At the end of the six months, Britbot will be replaced with a legacy website and a book will be published based on a selection of interactions with users. We invite you to visit the website www.britbot.org to chat with the bot.

Britbot was commissioned by Sky Arts as part of Art 50 - a project to examine what it will mean to be British in post-Brexit Britain.

Visit the website, www.britbot.org, to chat with the bot.

 

Hannah Luxton - solo show at Blank 100, London

www.hannahluxton.com

 

 Detail from  Numina , oil on linen, 100x110cm, 2018. Copyright The Artist.

Detail from Numina, oil on linen, 100x110cm, 2018. Copyright The Artist.

A solo show of new paintings, drawings and works on paper, alongside earlier paintings.

July 6 - July 22

Opening times: Sunday 2pm – 6pm and by appointment, Blank 100, 100 De Beauvoir Road, N1 4EN.

 

Dominic Hawgood - website updated to include a new virtual exhibition, a 'work in progress' section and early work

 

www.dominichawgood.com

 

 Image from   The Conversation   - speaking in tongues, performance and fiction, 2015. Copyright The Artist.

Image from The Conversation - speaking in tongues, performance and fiction, 2015. Copyright The Artist.

Hypnosis, speaking in tongues, exorcism, psychotropic drugs, uncanny slippages between the physical and the virtual... Over the last five years Dominic has undertaken a series of projects that start from the idea that the 'real' is a protean mediated state that we constantly re-experience, reconstruct and reaffirm in collaboration with others. 

"Case was twenty-four. At twenty-two, he'd been a cowboy, a rustler, one of the best in the Sprawl. He'd been trained by the best, by McCoy Pauley and Bobby Quine, legends in the biz. He'd operated on an almost permanent adrenaline high, a byproduct of youth and proficiency, jacked into a customised cyberspace deck that projected his disembodied consciousness into the consensual hallucination known as the matrix. The matrix has its roots in primitive arcade games... Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding into the distance..." From Neuromancer, William Gibson, 984.

Dominic's website has been updated to include details of the projects, ncluding his online exhibition at Postmatter (launched in October 2016), and a Work in Progress section, which provides an insight into his innovative, cutting-edge experiments with the image-making possibilities of new technologies.

To celebrate the launch of the new website, Dominic has created a new online exhibition: Chasing Demons in the Night, a virtual exhibition based on the interior of Foam Fotografiemuseum in Amsterdam.

 

 Installation shot for the virtual exhibition  Chasing Demons in the Night . Copyright The Artist.

Installation shot for the virtual exhibition Chasing Demons in the Night. Copyright The Artist.

 

 

 

Dominic Hawgood and Hannah Luxton

We’re delighted to announce that two new artists have joined the Agency: Dominic Hawgood and Hannah Luxton.

Dominic's practice combines photography, CGI, lighting design and installation.

"His images call attention to decisive and current questions about the ontological and epistemological nature of photography, while simultaneously forcing us to question the limits, tensions and articulations between real and virtual, between fact and fiction, between representation and imagination." Sérgio Mah - curator and professor at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences & Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Lisbon.

Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2014, Dominic has had solo exhibitions at TJ Boulting, London, UK; Oonagh Young Gallery, Dublin, Ireland; and the Brighton Digital Festival X British Science Festival, Brighton, UK. He has also won the British Journal of Photography International Award and been selected as a Foam Talent.

 Dominic Hawgood, Under The Influence, installation shot from T J Boulting, 2015. Courtesy the Artist and T J Boulting.

Dominic Hawgood, Under The Influence, installation shot from T J Boulting, 2015. Courtesy the Artist and T J Boulting.

In contrast to Dominic’s deep engagement with new image-making technologies and the relationship between the virtual and the physical, Hannah's practice explores the potential of painting, despite our familiarity with the medium and its history and tropes, to stimulate our emotions and our intellect. Her paintings have a deceptive simplicity that belies their meticulous composition in which a sparse, yet rich and readily accessible, language of motifs is used to evoke the natural world and provide the viewer with a quiet, mediative space from which to reconnect with and reconsider the world around them.

Hannah is a graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art (MA, 2012). She has exhibited widely in London and the UK in solo and group exhibitions, and internationally including India and Iceland. Residency awards include The Fljotstunga Travel Farm, Iceland (2015) and the Trelex Residency, Switzerland (2013).

 Hannah Luxton,  Untitled-Moon , 2018. Courtesy the Artist.

Hannah Luxton, Untitled-Moon, 2018. Courtesy the Artist.