The New Real - Jake Elwes
From Kathryn Hood on March 8th, 2021
Jake Elwes’ interactive online artwork explores queer culture and the algorithms, philosophy and ethics of AI. In The Zizi Show, made with a community of drag artists, Elwes constructs and then deconstructs a virtual cabaret show that pushes the limits of what can be imagined on a digital stage.
Elwes is a master of deep-fake technology, using a form of AI called deep learning to make images of fake bodies, which enables him to create Zizi – the drag act who hosts this playful and vivacious cabaret.
Zizi is capable of learning a variety of dance styles, looks and mannerisms by observing human performers. Audiences are invited to switch between the different deep-fake identities that Zizi has learned and enjoy hit songs.
The artwork conjures up the Zizi character, and exposes the processes used in its construction, to reveal it is simply a technological artefact and dispel our obsession that machines are becoming more human.