Prosthetic Knowledge

Elaine Hoey

  • 2022, Digital Commission
  • Commissioned by the Glucksman

Prosthetic Knowledge is a new digital commission by artist Elaine Hoey that uses an interactive website to explores themes of violence towards women and contemporary practices of myth-making. 

This work is an interactive browser-based artwork. For optimal experience of this work, please use a computer with audio enabled. Keyboard and mouse/trackpad are required.

This artwork contains flashing lights.

Prosthetic Knowledge draws from the Greek myth of Pythia and the Oracle of Delphi, who is widely acknowledged as one of the first female Oracles. The Oracle held a position of immense power within ancient times. Prophetic themes are a common feature of mythological narratives and the Oracle acts as a conduit or divinatory guide, through which abstract yet poetic interpretations of a divine will signify the transition from the common world into that of the technological supernatural.

Viewed from a feminist perspective, the work reimagines the internet as a sacred site that utilises mythology within the current moment of advancing algorithmic systems. It questions the role of technology and how it may be used to highlight gender violence through the guise of a modern-day Oracle. As problems with artificial intelligence become more invasive, how do we begin to challenge and address these systems in alternative ways? By training an AI model in histories of violence toward women, Prosthetic Knowledge creates a series of poignant narratives, highlighting the need to always keep humans at the centre of technological advances.

This work is made using a variety of mediums such as GIFs, performance capture, 3D modelling, video, interactive web drawing, animation, and coding and narrative; both written and audio is made utilising artificial intelligence.  


Background Music - Cunnartach by Invercauld Used with kind permission from Invercauld and Cyclic Record Label.

The AI voice was created by combining and training an AI model with four women's voices: Asmaa Sayed Ali, Katerina Baros, Elaine Hoey, and Emiko Singh

Facial Performance Capture, Actor: Antoinette Grappa

The narrative was created by an AI model trained on a history of violence towards women.

The Oracle bot was adapted and modelled on the programme Eliza, the first bot ever written in the mid-1960s at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory by Joseph Weizenbaum

Interactive web coding/programming and all artwork: Elaine Hoey

Curated by Chris Clarke

Commissioned by the Glucksman, University College Cork

Elaine Hoey Portrait

About the Artist

Elaine Hoey’s practice mainly comprises interactive based installations, appropriating contemporary digital art practices and aesthetics to explore the politics of digital humanity and our evolving relationship with the screen. She describes her process as ‘experimental’ in exploring digitally native and new forms of art, and her work often addresses and critiques themes arising from identity, place and the biopolitical body. She works through a wide variety of mediums, such as virtual reality, artificial intelligent systems in gaming engines, video, installation and live remote cyber performance.

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 part time lecturer in Fine Art Media at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin.

Artist Website