GOGBOT Symposium - Time to Recalibrate Reality

Saturday 11 September 2021, 14:00 – 16:30 @ Muziekcentrum Enschede

Four great speakers with their own views give the necessary depth to the often superficial debate about deepfake technology and fake news.

Attention: you need to have a proof of vaccination or a valid negative corona test to access the symposium.

Programme & speakers

During our Infocalypse Now symposium researcher on gender/sexuality, social movements and digital culture Katrien Jacobs (Chinese University of Hong Kong) presents her talk Up and down the rabbit hole with deepfake porn

The rabbit hole, originally taken from Alice in Wonderland, is a place that is dark, strange, illogical and also hard to escape. In regards to AI and deepfake pornography, it points to a condition of “doom,” or the idea that social media platforms are caught in conspiracy theories, disinformation and sexual hate speech. This talk offers a contemplation on the deepfake porn panic, how it is reported on in the mass media, how it is targeting public figures, female journalists, feminists and activists, and how it is blemishing good consensual d.i.y. porn. Special attention will be paid to feminist and aesthetic models of redemption. 

Katrien Jacobs has written several books about the emergence and surveillance of digital sexuality and alternative pornographies.

With the help of artificial intelligence (AI), fantasy and reality are increasingly intermingled. Fake news is now a well-known phenomenon. But can this still be distinguished from factually correct reporting if this “fake news” seems spoken by people we know as reliable? With the help of deepfake manipulation software, both voice and image of a person can be almost undetectably altered or imitated to put people in compromising situations or create false information. However, deepfake media can also be used positively for creative expression and in scientific research. It seems that the unfamiliarity of applications for AI is seized upon by politicians to slow down developments, as is evident from the “high risk AI” restrictions in the draft European regulation on AI. Should we be led by fear of the unknown or focus on the positive aspects AI can bring us?

Professor Artificial Intelligence and Robotlaw at the University of Lapland, Rob van den Hoven van Genderen talks about different aspects of deepfake media. Van den Hoven van Genderen is also director of the Center for Internet and Law at the VU Amsterdam and works as an international lawyer specialised in IT legal issues.

Film director Roshan Nejal talks about his moving film Deepfake Therapy, which is on view in the GOGBOT film program at WARP. Deepfake Therapy is a documentary of a therapy Nejal invented for people in mourning after the death of a loved one, a therapy he then co-developed with psychotherapists.

After working for the Dutch national broadcaster the NPO for 4 years as an independent filmmaker, Roshan chose to study Direction Documentary at the Dutch Film Academy. At the Film Academy he searched for and found more depth in his work. He specializes in Virtual Reality and Deep Fake Technology.

Currently Roshan Nejal is working on a new Virtual Reality production and is developing two new films.

At the GOGBOT symposium we have none other than the infamous Wu Ming 1 (member of the Italian writers collective Wu Ming) as a guest. Under their previous pseudonym Luther Blissett this writers collective wrote the novel Q, one of the inspirations behind the Qanon conspiracy theory.

Wu Ming 1 and theorist Florian Cramer will discuss QAnon, Corona deniers and related subcultures as alternate reality & live action role-playing gamification of conspiracy mythologies. Are these movements new types of religious cults? How do they tap into existing – evangelical and new age – belief systems? How do they reuse elements from older sub- and countercultures of the 1960s to the 1990s? How does their gamification and memetics work?

Wu Ming 1 is also the author of the book La Q di Qomplotto [The Q in qonspiracy], which describes how conspiracy fantasies help legitimise systems of control. It will be published in Dutch by Editie Leesmagazijn.

Florian Cramer is reader in 21st century visual culture at Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam. He and Wu Ming 1 collaborated in the collective-anonymous Luther Blissett project in the 1990s.