The link between digital art and hegemony

This is “Splash goat” by Zhelong Xu.

zhelong-xu-splash2

It’s not pottery. It’s computer generated. It was made by a Chinese artist and it beautifully illustrates how easy it will be to fake just about everything.

I expect forgery will make a comeback, only rather than forging “lost” works of art, talented artists will be paid by nation-states, media outlets, and criminal syndicates to forge reality itself — For example, digital evidence of false events and the like.

Imagine North Korea releases to the UN a jerky video of a covert US attack on their soil. It looks completely real, down to every detail. The images. The sound. The way it cuts off suddenly for no apparent reason. The North Koreans demand retribution. The US of course denies it. But everyone knows they’ve done such things before. Who do you believe?

Whoever you’re already predisposed to.

Technology can thus be used to erode the web of trust that binds us and bring us back to war. Conflicts (in real or cyber space) will rage on and off until a stable efficient equilibrium is reached, either eternally or until a single dominant hegemony suppresses all other histories.

If it’s a benign hegemony, the world will be better for it. If not, it will become an unimpeachable regime. I suspect it will look something like China — a state where people have such enough of the mechanisms of democracy to feel like they have a stake in things but which is run by the bureaucracy and the elites to a greater degree than is typical in the present-day West (but where that is also the case).

So, enjoy the cute little goat.


UPDATE: From The New Scientist,

AI artist conjures up convincing fake worlds from memories

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