Hyperrealistic replicas of the human face owe their documentary value to the belief that they result from mechanical reproduction. The idea that a picture is automatically produced through a process of imprint taking is often enough to convince the viewer of its truthfulness and reliability, thus contributing to giving images an aura of authenticity and to creating the myth of pure objectivity. But what happens when the link between hyperrealism, mechanicalness, and truthfulness is disentangled? In 2017, French artist Raphael Fabre successfully applied for an ID card using a computer-generated picture where the real face was, in fact, an artificial, synthetic mask. Starting from this case study, the essay tackles the issue of the increasing overlapping of actual reality and digital (un)reality, particularly focusing on the concerns raised by the confusion between faces and masks caused by the rapid spread of so-called deepfakes in a world that speeds from documentality towards what I propose to call mockumentality.

Mockumentality: From Hyperfaces to Deepfakes

Pietro Conte
2019

Abstract

Hyperrealistic replicas of the human face owe their documentary value to the belief that they result from mechanical reproduction. The idea that a picture is automatically produced through a process of imprint taking is often enough to convince the viewer of its truthfulness and reliability, thus contributing to giving images an aura of authenticity and to creating the myth of pure objectivity. But what happens when the link between hyperrealism, mechanicalness, and truthfulness is disentangled? In 2017, French artist Raphael Fabre successfully applied for an ID card using a computer-generated picture where the real face was, in fact, an artificial, synthetic mask. Starting from this case study, the essay tackles the issue of the increasing overlapping of actual reality and digital (un)reality, particularly focusing on the concerns raised by the confusion between faces and masks caused by the rapid spread of so-called deepfakes in a world that speeds from documentality towards what I propose to call mockumentality.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3724946
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