In July 1969, much of the world celebrated the “giant leap for mankind” that the successful moon landing constituted. In 2020, nothing is quite so straightforward. In Event of Moon Disaster illustrates the possibilities of deepfake technologies by reimagining this seminal event. What if the Apollo 11 mission had gone wrong and the astronauts had not been able to return home? A contingency speech for this possibility was prepared, but never delivered by President Nixon – until now. The immersive project invites you into this alternative history and asks us all to consider how new technologies can bend, redirect and obfuscate the truth around us.
This story was made possible by the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality and published with Scientific American
In Event of Moon Disaster is an immersive art project inviting you into an alternative history, asking us all to consider how new technologies can bend, redirect and obfuscate the truth around us.
To construct the story a variety of techniques of misinformation were used – from simple deceptive editing to more complex deepfakes technologies.
To recreate the contingency speech, the piece used deep learning techniques to create both a synthetic voice of Nixon and to use dialogue replacement techniques to replicate the movement of Nixon’s mouth and lips.
By creating this alternative history the project explores the influence and pervasiveness of misinformation and deepfake technologies in our contemporary society.
In Event of Moon Disaster
Scientific American, MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality
Video Production, Motion Graphics, Art Direction
For the groundbreaking project, “In Event of Moon Disaster,” our team provided comprehensive video production, motion graphics, compositing, and art direction. This immersive art installation and digital experience explores the possibilities of deepfake technologies while reimagining the historic Apollo 11 mission.
The project presents an alternative history, inviting audiences to contemplate the implications of new technologies in bending, redirecting, and obfuscating truth. By employing various techniques of misinformation, from deceptive editing to complex deepfakes, the installation challenges our perception of reality.