Top of The Bots
Dec 13, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Join us to do something different on a Friday night! Artist Libby Heaney invites you to get involved in her interactive karaoke experience – a performance and installation exploring individual and collective identity, voice, machine learning, pop culture and class.
You’ll enter a karaoke fantasy land (with a bar of course) and you’ll perform songs by pop groups, dance acts and bands. As you sing you become the singers of these pop groups on screen. Your face becomes the singers’ faces through new face swap technology.
This artwork celebrates working class culture and the continued presence of karaoke nights across the UK, despite the push of gentrification.
This project draws on Libby’s personal experiences. She grew up in working class Tamworth and participated in Smirnoff Ice fuelled karaokes as she grew older. The identification with other persons, other times and other voices were essential for finding that elusive transcendental moment, which occurred as she blasted out Coolio’s Gangster’s Paradise (badly) for the millionth time with mates and the previously unknown folk in the crowd. Group singing with strangers forms new bonds and a sense of solidarity – a collective drama, pride, tolerance, forgiving and occasionally tears.
So while this artwork is in part nostalgic, referencing the 90s as a musically productive period of change between the Thatcher and Blair governments, it also proposes a positive future. Machine learning is catalysing change in many areas of life. In her practice, she is interested in how these algorithmic techniques can reimagine seemingly fixed conceptions of identity and narrative. In this work the gap between one’s own body and that of the musician(s), provide spaces for free associations and unexpected expressions of collective identity to emerge.
If you’re interested, book your free place by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org