Photography: Andrea Rossetti

Behind The Scenes: Ooze Machines

Visual arts, Interviews, Art & Film, Visual Arts

Meet Dr Libby Heaney, the award-winning quantum physicist and visual artist behind the eye-opening and playful exhibition at Brighton Festival 2024.

Dr Libby Heaney is blurring (or ‘oozing’) the lines between art and science. Widely known as the first artist to use quantum computing as an artform, her free exhibition, Ooze Machines, explores the slimy qualities that the body, big tech and quantum physics all have in common.

Featuring immersive video, mind-bending glass sculptures and a playable experience, we had to find out more about her fascinating exhibition...

Photography: Tom Gibbs 

Can you give us a quick run-down of the story behind Ooze Machines?

Ooze Machines is the next iteration of a series of works reimagining various types of bodies - human, non-human & machines - through the lens of quantum physics, suggesting a deep interconnectedness and queerness of all things.

Photography: Tom Gibbs 

Tell us about the idea of slime in the exhibition.

I use slime or ooze as an entangling theme throughout the show. As Wedlich wrote, "Slime exists at the interfaces of all things!”

I also think about the process of oozing in relation to ourselves; how myself or others have oozed over each other's boundaries in various ways. 

Finally, I'm interested in the sliminess of big tech - how big tech companies, like those developing quantum computing - appear benign but are actually underhand and devious as they impinge on our lives in ever more cunning and undetectable ways.

Photography: Tom Gibbs 

How do you want your visitors to feel?

I want to draw you in, seduce you and at the time have moments of ickiness. 

Then after the show maybe you will be curious to learn more about quantum physics and quantum technologies - although the point of my exhibition is not to lecture you, but tickle you with visual sensations, leaving you wondering what’s next for human and machine entanglements.

Photography: Tom Gibbs 

Any final thoughts about coming to Brighton Festival 2024?

I’m really looking forward to sliming the people of Brighton and bringing them into my strange quantum universe - bluuuuuurrreeeehhhhwwww.

Need to see it for yourself?

Visit Ooze Machines