Evie Godfrey2023 Longlist, Opening Up

My website, miss-communication.ie houses my AI chatbot, Markievicz Mark 1, and my choose-your-own-critical-theory adventure essay investigating language, autonomy, creativity, and gender identity, Miss-Communication.

In 2020 I won the Irish Arts Council’s Markievicz Award for Literature for my proposal for miss-communication.ie. I used the attached grant to develop a hybrid creative investigation into how Irish women’s voices have been recorded, historicised and celebrated, responding to the prize’s call for proposals that investigate female experience over the century since Ireland’s 1916 revolution. To avoid the problems of commercial text generators that, trained on datasets scraped from the internet, replicate bias found there, I coded and trained an AI chatbot on an exclusive dataset of historical records of interviews, letters and eye-witness accounts by Irish women. I created a second version of my AI, Markievicz Mark 1, to generate longer texts, and she co-wrote a book with me, which was published by JOAN (London). Miss-communication.ie also hosts my choose-your-own-adventure-style critical theory essay, an often tongue-in-cheek investigation into gender, language and creative autonomy via the writings of Gayatri Spivak, Roland Barthes and Samuel Beckett. The project was launched at ICA London in March 2020. The artist Anne Tallentire said: “With effervescent experimentation, Joanna Walsh stretches and challenges parameters of literature, theory, history and the digital world. Brilliantly she aligns a cast of theoreticians with voices of Irish women who speak to us through a dynamic hybrid mechanistic structure, somewhere between screen-play, technical instruction and historical record… a unique textual-verbal architecture that deftly subverts limits of thought to create new understanding.” I reworked the piece as an installation for Sample Studios, Cork, where I was selected as one of three artists participating in the Digital Art in Ireland show in June 2022.