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Collective Vision of Synthetic Reality




participatory project / workshops
2020
           Collective Vision of Synthetic Reality is a participatory project that aims to collect and analyze the ideas, scenarios, absurd dreams, hopes and fears concerning the emergence of AI-generated synthetic media. The project operates as crowd-sourcing of the broad scope of visions from a diverse audience. The responses are collected and positioned on the spectrum of consequences, somewhere in between good and evil, small scale and large scale. The Collective Vision represents the average values of participants, the inclination towards utopian or dystopian thinking about the near future, the specific future scenarios of use cases for synthetic media as well as the “recipe” of their generation.




           The workshops use the set of cards representing currently the most influential deep learning models and the rapid brainstorming to generate speculative scenarios of synthetic media. This activity puts responsibility for the future in the hands of participants and forces them to make fast choices based on their subconscious beliefs. They immediately get familiar with the new AI-driven tools, understand the way they work and actually get their hands dirty. By engaging in the process of media synthesis, the participants become active players of synthetic reality.

           This project challenges the binary understanding of good and evil intentions in the context of AI research, puts the problematics in different perspectives of creative industries and opens up a trans-disciplinary critical discussion.

           In a collaboration with Pavol Rusnak ︎ we generated thousands of uncanny looking, but beautiful human faces from StyleGAN ︎. These faces are results of randomized vector inputs and definitely not that kind of use StyleGAN was intended for. However, taking an unexpected turn and choosing a different pathway is what usually brings new ideas. We could be imagining that this is what it looks like inside of StyleGAN’s dreams. The interrupted process of imagining a face. From more abstract to more concrete, these faces are surprisingly colorful look inside the face synthesis and comes with mesmerizing aesthetic. As a tribute to the website thispersondoesnotexist.com ︎ we launched strangeattractions.xyz ︎, where you can generate one of these faces each time you click/refresh. 




           Collective Vision of Synthetic Reality is about brainstorming unexpected and new use cases for all kinds of synthetic media, including more artistic forms. Experimenting with these distorted concepts of faces brought us to the idea of applying them as a privacy face filter. We have developed two Instagram face filters, one artistic based on StyleGAN1 hallucinations””, second one using real-looking StyleGAN2 faces. Both reflect on the concept of wearing face as a mask, denying personal value of a face and tackling the visual uncertainity of synthetic reality. 
          The filters can be found on my Instagram account.