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Elaine Hoey: Prosthetic Knowledge presented as 2022 Glucksman Digital Commission

September 23, 2022

Elaine Hoey’s latest online project, Prosthetic Knowledge, employs an interactive website to explore topics of violence against women and modern myth-making techniques. These digital works by Irish artists, part of the Glucksman Digital Commissions, were created exclusively for internet viewing.

The Greek story of Pythia and the Oracle of Delphi, usually regarded as one of the first female Oracles, are also references in Prosthetic Knowledge. In the past, the Oracle had a position of great power. The Oracle serves as a conduit or divinatory guide, through which abstract but poetic interpretations of a divine will mark the shift from the ordinary world into that of the technologically supernatural. Prophetic themes are a typical element of mythical narratives.

From a feminist standpoint, the piece imagines the internet as a sacred space that makes use of mythology in the era of developing algorithmic algorithms. It poses issues about the role of technology and how it might be utilized, under the pretext of a modern-day Oracle, to draw attention to gender violence. How might we start to question and deal with these systems in other ways as AI issues become more pervasive? In order to illustrate the necessity to constantly keep people at the center of technical advancements, Prosthetic Knowledge trains an AI model on historical examples of violence against women. This results in a number of moving narratives.

This piece was created using a range of media, including GIFs, performance capture, 3D modeling, video, interactive online drawings, animation, code, and narrative; artificial intelligence was used to create the written text as well as the audio.

The majority of Elaine Hoey’s work consists of interactive installations that appropriate modern digital art aesthetics and practices to explore the politics of digital humanity and our changing relationship with screens. In investigating digitally native and new kinds of art, she defines her technique as exploratory. Her work frequently explores and examines themes coming from identity, geography, and the biopolitical body. She employs a wide range of mediums, including video, installation, virtual reality, artificial intelligence found in gaming systems, and live remote cyber performances.

Hoey’s recent exhibitions include shows at Solstice Art Center, Navan; the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul; and Crawford Art Gallery, Cork. Her previous exhibitions include the Gangwon International Biennale, South Korea; Science Gallery, Dublin; The RHA, Dublin; The Model, Sligo; Scena9. Bucharest; ZKM Karlsruhe; Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris; Fiesp Cultural Centre, São Paulo; Highlanes, Drogheda; and The National Sculpture Factory, Cork. Elaine Hoey is a recipient of the Taylor Art Award and the R.C. Lewis-Crosby Award and the CCI Residency Award from the RDS Visual Arts Awards. She is a lecturer in Fine Art Media at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. 

Curated by Chris Clarke. 
Commissioned by the Glucksman. 

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