“Deep Fakes: Art and its Double” turned heads at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) by opening the window to a digital culture that is revolutionizing the art world!
“Deep Fakes: Art and Its Double” questions the ability of digital copies of universal artistic treasures to provoke an emotional reaction in audiences. These “deepfakes” differ from those used for manipulation and disinformation purposes, to open up different perspectives on objects by relying on advanced technologies…
” Cultural deepfakes are rich in meaning. They offer, through technology, analytical insight into unseen dimensions by fostering the emergence of unforeseen hypotheses and connections. explains the curator of the exhibition, Sarah Kenderdine, director of the EPFL Pavilions.
A concentrate of technological innovations dedicated to visualization
From artificial intelligence to computer vision, interactive and immersive media to 3D and 5D printing, technology is revolutionizing the way art is conceived, created and experienced, and ‘Deep Fakes’ is the first exhibition to consider this technological transformation at scale.
In addition to the twenty-one high-tech works of art and virtual experiences presented, visitors to this avant-garde Swiss exhibition will have a front row seat to witness a technological first: the combination of the Satellite MLS system from Digital Projection with Multi-View 3D projection technology to help rebuild Michaelsberg Abbey, a thousand-year-old Benedictine church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the site of Bamberg, Germany.
A digital materiality of objects that explores new forms
“Deep Fakes”, which spreads over 1,000 m², is “ the culmination of several years of creative practices from the world of computing “explains the curator of the exhibition. These new artefacts, which borrow or are based on existing works of art, have for the occasion been baptized “deep cultural fakes”.
” It is only recently that artists and producers have begun to fully grasp the potential of computer production and new art forms. says Sarah Kenderdine, a professor of museology who has over twenty years of experience developing and producing large-scale, immersive and interactive exhibits for museums, as well as World Heritage sites in Asia, such as Angkor. in Cambodia and, in Europe, Olympia in Greece.
Among the “deep cultural fakes” on display at the EPFL Pavilions, located on the School’s campus, is “The Next Rembrandt”, which uses artificial intelligence to create a “new” work by the Dutch master, who has lived and died in the 17th century; The Golden Calf, by leading media artist Jeffrey Shaw, which only reveals itself when the visitor has circled its pedestal in a “dance of worship”; and Abbey Saint Michel, Bamberg, a complete digital reconstruction of the interior of the thousand-year-old monastery.
Discover heritage treasures in a group thanks to the Multi-View device by Digital Projection
The physical Michaelsberg Abbey has been closed for renovations since 2012, when structural damage was discovered. As part of the restoration process, 3D laser scanning specialist ArcTron was commissioned by the City of Bamberg to create a high-resolution photorealistic recreation of the church interior, which contains significant works of art, late Renaissance and Rococo sculpture and architecture.
For the ‘Deep Fakes’ exhibition, the Virtual Reality and Visualization Research Group at Bauhaus University in Weimar and spin-off company Consensive developed real-time rendering techniques for ArcTron’s 3D models, allowing them to be presented in an immersive reality using Multi-View, Digital Projection’s multi-user 3D projection technology that has no equivalent on the market.
The Digital Projection system in Lausanne, which was also installed by Bauhaus University, includes an Insight Satellite MLS 4K HFR 360 projector, as well as six pairs of glasses made by Volfoni. Thanks to the ultra-fast frame rate (360 frames per second) unique to Multi-View, this unique projector is able to provide a true 3D experience for multiple viewers, each of whom has a view of the exhibition that remains adapted to its position. This allows users to see and interact with each other in a truly collaborative and shared way.
” Instead of delivering 120 frames per second, which is only sufficient for single-user 3D, the Insight Satellite MLS 4K HFR 360 delivers an unmatched 360 frames enthuses Sarah Kenderdine, who says this technology is nothing short of revolutionary for heritage experts, as it can offer everyone viewing a digital work of art a shared experience. ” Giving each user a unique point of view on an object gives us unprecedented possibilities for collaboration. “, she enthuses.
In its Satellite MLS (Modular Laser System) specification, the Insight Satellite MLS 4K HFR 360 offers museum professionals an even more compelling solution for modern multimedia exhibitions, says Thierry Ollivier, Business Development Manager Europe for Digital Projection and Supervisor of the deployment for “Deep Fakes”. With the Satellite MLS, the small and lightweight projector head is decoupled from the light source, allowing bright 4K projection with a small footprint and minimal noise/heat generation near exhibit elements. This unique design makes Satellite MLS ideal for all applications where heat and space are limited (theatres, opera houses, historic buildings…).
An immersive approach set to develop
Technologies such as Multi-View and Satellite MLS will play an increasingly important role in future art and museum exhibitions, where audiovisuals will help immerse visitors in ever more interactive experiences, Kenderdine believes.
” At the museum level, these tools offer new ways of telling stories: stories that are not necessarily didactic, stories that emerge and respond to user interaction, and stories that visitors can embody and inhabit. Audiovisual opens up archives and provides them with so much more potential for reuse. It gives artists, creators and curators a new canvas to create aesthetic frameworks we’ve never seen before, and modalities of engagement that transport and delight visitors.. »
As for the Digital Projection solution in particular, the EPFL Pavilions could not be more delighted with the result: “ The unit worked flawlessly, with remote assistance from Digital Projection it was up and running within half a day. Audience members also adored her. They recognize the difference: it’s unlike anything they’ve seen before. And EPFL scientists also came to visit the exhibition on several occasions, to see the new possibilities offered by the technologies “, emphasizes the curator of the exhibition.
” Having worked with Professor Kenderdine for ten years on projection and virtual reality projects, I salute her talent and efforts to bridge the gap between technology and art. concludes Thierry Ollivier. “ “Deep Fakes” combines the expertise of Digital Projection, Consensive and Volfoni. These cutting-edge technologies and expertise, put at the service of Sarah and her team, offer a wide audience, from world-renowned cultural authorities to local students, a totally successful virtual reality experience… You have to see it to believe it! »
“Deep Fakes: Art and Its Double” is designed in two parts.
- In Pavilion B, Part I, made up of nineteen installations, deals with the themes of the simulacrum, mirror worlds, digital doubles, cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence.
- In Pavilion A, Part II deals with endangered heritage, its archival and digital memory and its reconstruction.
Article first published in Sonovision #27, p. 80-82
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Sonovision – Innovation, keystone of the “Deep Fakes” exhibition in Lausanne
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