Bill Posters

SPECTRE: An Immersive Art Installation


Bill Posters


Named after the online persona of Dr. Aleksandr Kogan, the data scientist that sold 87 million Facebook profiles to Cambridge Analytica, Spectre is an immersive installation that detournes many of the technologies and methods used in the Digital Influence Industry. The installation is curated by algorithms and powered by visitor’s personal data.

Spectre interrogates many forms of computational propaganda including OCEAN (Psychometric) profiling; generative image and text; ‘deep fake’ technologies; and micro-targetted advertising via a ‘dark ad’ generator.

Taking inspiration from conceptual artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Sol LeWitt and Robert Morris, the algorithmically defined materiality of Spectre gives form to the religious philosophy of Dataism, creating space for viewers to explore the deeper ethical and moral implications that exist concerning the logics of Dataism and Surveillance Capitalism.

By appying detournement theory to digital contexts, the installation started out to subvert the digital influence industry and via a series of generative artworks of celebrity ‘influencers’, Spectre’s simulation reached dizzying heights as the artworks quickly became embroiled in a deeper, global conversation about the power of computational forms of propaganda as the generative art videos went viral on social media leading to global press coverage and unexpected official responses from Facebook, Instagram and Youtube.

Bill Posters and Daniel Howe, the artists behind one of the world’s largest global press stories of 2019 centred on a viral AI generated artwork of Mark Zuckerberg as a ‘deep fake’ have released a short film that explores the motivations and technologies behind the wider 'Spectre' project.

After their art installation went viral on social media and received front page coverage on newspapers, TV and radio stations around the world, reaching from the UK all the way up to the US Senate hearing on the dangers of ‘deep fake’, AI and machine learning technologies, thier short film for the project dives deeper into the technologies and artistic ideas behind the project.