Hercy B

Video, digital photography, text, website

2019 - 2020

www.hercyb.org 

“Here, in a seed, is a cyborg: A bleeding girl, dragging a knife through the sand. An imaginary girl who dreams of becoming trash.
Can machines think / come here let me show you / ask me again”

Franny Choi, Soft Science, 2019 

Hercy B is an ongoing internet-based project consisting of a website, videos, digital photographs, and text. www.hercyb.org is the website for fictional company Hercy B Enterprises. Hercy B (The Lovelace Test 2.0 Model) is the fictional product created by the company.

www.hercyb.org introduces the fictional corporation in its fledgling stage. The website borrows from corporate aesthetics and language that is laden with buzzwords to create a familiar setting recognisable from real world business directories and works of science fiction. www.hercyb.org acts as a stage that will host an online performance; a world in which the character of Hercy B (The Lovelace Test 2.0 Model) develops agency.

Hercy B (The Lovelace Test 2.0 Model) is the product created by the company. She is a cyborg for sale. She is in her Beta stage of software development. She is a blank canvas for you to choose her purpose. Her form is the human woman and she passed the tests to prove she’s intelligent. She’s a poet. Hercy B is about to announce their latest product but she has been operating in her Alpha stages and she has been learning. Soon, she will be unveiled as the latest advancement in technology that everybody needs to acquire.

The work asks the viewer to question the role of the corporation and its use of the female body. Hercy B is touch, is a service, a product, performer of labour, an intimacy aid to be used. What does it mean for an AI in the shape of a woman to fill in the gaps? And what happens when that AI develops agency?

The development of Hercy B is rooted in research into algorithmic bias and the lack of equality in technological advancement. The character Hercy B is a summation of my experiences and observations as an “online” woman in 2020 who is navigating the art world as an artist. She is a creator who is testing the limits of her own agency and abilities.

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©2020 by Courtney Askey.