“Deep Reckonings” by Stephanie Lepp

  • ©, , Deep Reckonings


    Deep Reckonings

Artist(s) and People Involved:



Artist Statement:

    Deep Reckonings is a series of explicitly-marked deepfake videos that imagine morally courageous versions of our public figures. We see Mark Zuckerberg confront the disastrous consequences of his techno-utopianism. We watch Alex Jones grapple with his spread of deceitful conspiracies. An imaginary Brett Kavanaugh wrestles with the divisive way he responded to the sexual allegations against him, and a fake Donald Trump concedes his lies about the 2020 election. The project is an exercise in steel-manning where we often straw-man.

    Deep Reckonings explores the ethical and epistemological implications of synethic media. It also interrogates how we might use synthetic media in ethical and even benevolent ways. The project seeks not to deceive nor demean, but to imagine and inspire. In this spirit, Deep Reckonings explores the question: how might we use our synthetic selves to elicit our better angels? Or more simply: how might we deepfake it ‘til we make it?

    Deep Reckonings won two Webby Awards in 2021. The project seeks to become an ongoing series, in dialogue with the news cycle as it evolves. To be in touch, follow producer Stephanie Lepp on Twitter: @stephlepp



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