Jake Elwes is a New Media artist based in London and has shown his work in major digital art festivals around the world. His creations are recognisable through their poetic blend of art and AI/Machine Learning (ML) technology, bringing contemplation, analysis and wit to complex systems while challenging their ethics.
Elwes’ most recent piece, The Zizi Show (@zizidrag) is an online deep fake drag cabaret created by a prodigious human-machine collaboration. Accessible online, it is an interactive piece of web art where you can create your own act by picking your deep fake avatars and the song you want them to perform. The glitchy aesthetic gives glimpses of the fragile technology behind it, reinforcing the idea of constructed identities.
The experience of seeing real bodies of iconic drag queens digested and regenerated by the system is fascinating. Filmed at a London cabaret venue, closed down due to COVID-19, provides an atmosphere that breaks the frontiers between the physical and the digital.
Using what Elwes calls, “Queer performance tactics to tackle problematic heteronormative use of AI”, it is an entertaining, politically and socially engaged piece of work. It offers visitors an opportunity to interact with tools of rebellion, disturbance and legal hacking that aim to create more inclusive systems with technological tools.