‘The Zuckerberg Deepfake Heard Around The World’
On the 1st June, myself and Daniel Howe released ‘Big Dada’ – a series of 5, AI generated ‘deep fake’ artworks into Instagram’s algorithms. Released as a digital intervention and an extension of the Spectre project’s detournement of the Digital Influence Industry, our approach was to use AI and ML to hack and subvert the power of celebrity ‘Influencers’. These 5 video pieces formed part of the content of the Spectre installation. We believe they are the world’s first contemporary art ‘deep fakes’, created using artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to interrogate the power of computational propagandas.
On the 10th June, a day before the Alternate Realities exhibition closed, one of the ‘Big Dada’ artworks entitled ‘Imagine This…’ (2019) began to go viral on Instagram and then trending on Twitter. The artwork was quickly picked up by Vice Motherboard, followed by the New York Times.
Over the course of the next 10 days, our installation and artworks featured on all major global news, TV and Radio outlets as our ‘deep fake’ artworks travelled around the world – from Europe to Asia, Latin America to Canada, with a mention at the US Senate Committee hearing on deep fake technologies along the way. Our critical artworks trolled Mark Zuckerberg – the owner of one of the largest tech companies in existence and forced Facebook and Instagram to release official statements and to question their internal policies regarding deep Fake videos and computational forms of propaganda that exist on their platforms.
Front page coverage of the Spectre project included the BBC, Independent, Le Monde, Die Spiegel, La Republica, Washington Post, PBS, CNBC, Forbes magazine, the biggest daily newspaper in Brazil and no less than 4 Guardian articles alongside thousands of others. The Spectre simulation was now complete.
‘A Fake Zuckerberg Video Challenges Facebook’s Rules’
– New York Times
By using AI and machine learning technologies to ‘hack’ the power of celebrity ‘Influencers’, our Dada-esque simulation reached dizzying heights as the artworks quickly became embroiled in a global conversation about the power of computational forms of ‘deep fake’ propaganda.
Highlights included TV appearances on Good Morning America; ABC News, CNN, France24; an in depth exploration of the themes of the Spectre installation from Creative Review, Frieze Magazine, ArtNet alongside a Channel 4 interview and in depth news piece concerning computational forms of propaganda and the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Spectre was featured on radio and podcast shows including BBC, BBC World Service, Vox, CBC Radio Canada and more.
Based on these situations that our intervention created in public, corporate and media spaces, both myself and Daniel Howe will be premiering a new video installation entitled ‘Big Dada’ (2019) at the ‘Art Strikes Back’ exhibition, Museum Jorn, Denmark from 15th September – 8th December 2019. Full details to be released soon.