Rijksmuseum Twenthe (Lasondersingel 129 – 131)

Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10:00 – 17:00

Seán Hannan in collaboration with Daan Heemskerk

Model Collapse, 2020-21

Seán Hannan is fascinated by things which are hidden from our sight or which are surrounded by great mystery. He combs the online world looking for leaked documents, testimonies of whistleblowers or conspiracy theories, which he then uses as building blocks for his work. For Model Collapse he started exploring together with Daan Heemskerk the world of the deepfakes, a technology with dark sides which is often used in unethical ways, as in revenge porno. Hannan however does not explore here the potentially disruptive implications of this technology. He used deepfakes to go back to his youth, by having himself feature as an adult man in old home videos. He now does this again with the visitors of Rijksmuseum Twenthe, who see themselves deepfaked in the old videos of Hannan. Hannan thus creates space to look at a situation from another perspective and forge memories – authentic or otherwise.

A data set is made of visitors who walk or stand near the five black cameras which are set up in the museum. This is used to generate in about 20 minutes a deepfake of the individual concerned, which then appears in the home video. The deepfakes are erased at the end of each day and are therefore not kept.

This work was made possible with the support of the Mondriaan Fund and The Netherland-America Foundation. With special thanks to Nasir Memon (NYU Tandon School of Engineering, dept. of Cyber Security), Futuring Machine (John Lee), Bram van Es, Deborah Meibergen and Theo Blom.