Back 18.06.2019

‘Spectre: A Detour Into Dataism’ Short Film Released. World’s First Non-Fiction Short Using Deep Fake technologies

It’s a little strange to be writing these words. ‘Spectre’, my latest installation in collaboration with Danie Howe became one of the world’s largest global press stories of the past week which centred on a viral AI generated artwork of Mark Zuckerberg as a ‘deep fake’.

We always set out to detourne many aspects of the Digital Influence Industry and as part of this we ‘hacked’ the power of celebrity ‘influencers’ via a series of generative art pieces that form a central component of the installation. One of these generative artworks reached ‘virality’ on social media and received front page coverage on newspapers, TV and radio stations around the world, reaching from the UK all the way up to the US Senate hearing on the dangers of ‘deep fakes’. The response from Facebook and Instagram added a whole new dimension to this situation when our digital artworks left the confines of the gallery space, and intervened in the very digital architectures that the project critically explores, raising interesting questions about the existence and exposure of critical contemporary art in corporate controlled spaces like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

Today we have released the world’s first non-fiction short film using deep fake technologies that explores the motivations, technologies and conceptual influences behind the wider ‘Spectre’ project. The short film explores the wider systemic issues that the installation engages with in relation to the Digital Influence Industry, technology and democracy.

Spectre is named after Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, the data scientist that sold 87 million Facebook profiles to Cambridge Analytica, Spectre is an immersive installation that tells a cautionary tale of technology and democracy, curated by algorithms and powered by visitor’s personal data. Spectre interrogates computational forms of propaganda including OCEAN (Psychometric) profiling, generative art (moving image and text), deep fake technologies and micro-targetted advertising via a ‘dark ad’ generator.



See the Spectre project here.