The role of computer graphics in news reporting and truth telling has a long history, from weathermen to intricate chromkeyed maps of warzones used by news presenters. As computational power continues to increase exponentially, and with new technologies like machine learning, the ability of these graphics to accurately simulate reality is becoming a worrying reality. In August 2017, the Graphics and Imaging Laboratory at Washington University released a video ‘Synthesizing Obama’ which demonstrated the ability to synthesize a life-like rendering of Obama in real time. Over the last few years, several news programs have used video game footage in stories about global wars and one of the most widely circulated images of a drone, used extensively to this day in reporting on covert warfare is itself a rendering. The ability of computers to fake reality convincingly is going to become more and more of a critical problem as hackers, extremist news organisations and politicians seek to control the media narrative through increasingly convincing visuals. This panel will consider and speculate on possible futures for rendered realities and suggest strategies for regulating or countering artificial realities created by computation.
Anna Ridler (UK), EMAP artist in residence at Impakt working with abstract collections of information or data to create new narratives
Lucy Hardcastle (UK), interdisciplinary designer and digital artist
Sjef van Gaalen (NL), researcher and designer
Luba Elliott (UK), curator and researcher specialising in artificial intelligence and member of the curatorial team of the Impakt Festival 2018.
About Lucy Hardcastle:
Lucy Hardcastle is an interdisciplinary designer and digital artist living in London. Her work focuses on tactility, visual illusions and sensual aesthetics through digital rendered pieces, sculpture, set design an moving image. Her current projects aim to bridge the highly digital and physical aspects of her practice to produce immersive experiential pieces.
About Sjef van Gaalen:
Sjef van Gaalen is a Rotterdam-based researcher & designer working under the name Structure & Narrative. Focused on Futures & Fiction, Collage & Camouflage, he will investigate what stories are being told through these new synthesized realities.
About Anna Ridler:
Anna Ridler is an artist and researcher whose practice brings together technology, literature and drawing to create both art and critical writing. She is very interested in working with abstract collections of information or data, particularly self-generated data sets, to create new and unusual narratives in a variety of mediums, and how new technologies, such as machine learning, can be used to translate them clearly to an audience. She works heavily with technology at both the front and back end of projects (what is exhibited as well as the research that goes into the piece). Her intention is to make work that is not about technology for its own sake, but rather uses these technologies as a tool to talk about other things – memory, love, decay – or to augment or change the story in a way in that otherwise would not happen. She is interested in the connections and spaces between the tangible and intangible world – for example, the connections between race and algorithms or love and emails. She is currently working with and researching the creative potential of machine learning, and how it relates to drawing and painting.
What: Deep Fake or Rendering the Truth, a panel event with presentations and discussion
When: 21 April 20:00
Where: Impakt, Center for Media Culture, Lange Nieuwstraat 4, Utrecht