robotic audio visual installation | digital spring | Salzburg (AUS/2018)
The Real Fake Fake News Bot is a robotic audio visual installation which takes advantage of misinformation found on the internet, transforming this data into less meaningful content within a poetic methodology. The system is feeded with fake news from several sources and is constructing a new meaning out of them – fake fake news. The sculpture is speaking this processed content out loud with a text to speech synthesis approach, triggering lights and movements before uploading it into the newsfeed of the real fake fake news bot twitter profile. The sculpture is supposed to be the physical representation of a ‘bot’, a device or piece of software that can execute commands, reply to messages or perform routine tasks, as online searches, either automatically or with minimal human intervention. The structure of the resulting content is formed by applying formal rules extracted from poetic literature.
The phrase ‘fake news’ may have been popularized in 2016, but the concept itself dates back at least a thousand years. Technology makes the spread of ideas faster and more scalable, making it easier for propaganda material to reach more people. The growth of social networks caused them to become ideal platforms for spreading disinformation campaigns. Incidents over the past few years demonstrate how social networks are used to distribute fake news. In fact, fake news in its current incarnation would not be possible without social media sites, as these platforms allow users from various countries to connect with other users easily. An essential role in aiming these real users to spread fake information play automated accounts, so called bots. The Real Fake News bot is the physical embodiment of this ‘artificial life’, which is taking part in online communication in various ways and with various aims. These aims can be but don’t have to be of a political, financial or (anti)social nature. The sculpture itself aims to extract the inherent fragments of these manifested aims and to reassamble new structures based on structures derived from poetry, thereby transforming these aims into potentially new meanings.