Acquisition by British Film Archive (Spectre: a Detour into Dataism)

Prize / Honour: Prizes and awards (RGC: 64B)Other distinction

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The BFI National Archive has acquired videos from 'Spectre', by Dr. Daniel Howe (w' Bill Posters) exploring the role played by data, technology and the moving image in the spreading of disinformation. The works includes ‘deepfake’ videos ‘made by’ a number of hacked celebrity ‘influencers’: Morgan Freeman, Kim Kardashian, Marina Abramovich, Freddie Mercury, Donald Trump and Mark Zuckerberg. On the significance of Bill Posters and Dr. Daniel Howe’s work, BFI National Archive Curator of Contemporary Fiction, Will Massa said:

“As online film and video play an increasingly dominant role in all our lives, from general entertainment to general elections, there is heightened anxiety about the provenance of what we are watching. When I experienced ‘Spectre’ at Doc/Fest in Sheffield I found its use of ‘deepfake’ video technology chillingly effective. As well as documenting and preserving the art and history of filmmaking, the BFI National Archive offers us an important insight into the impact of the moving image on society at large, from the earliest surviving Victorian films through to YouTube viral hits. We find ourselves at something of a watershed moment in terms of our relationship to news, information and trusted sources, and the acquisition of these works bring us right up to the cutting edge.”