THE REAL DEEP STATE. Theory and Inspiration.

5 min readMar 11, 2021

Projects base

This looks rather diverse and not very organized or categorized and that’s absolutely intentional.

  1. Virtual Social Media Influencer made by ITP alums.

Why relevant to me: I am also working on creating digital, synthesized personalities. The image of this lady, realistic and non-realistic at the same time, captivated me. I think it also has to do with her age and gender: the characters that I am working on, being digitally generated, should be human, versatile, non-cliche: not fairies or fictional fighters in fantastic suits but real/nonreal people, some kind of the new interpretation of what AI could look like.

2. Museum of other realities. This is an amazing social VR space: a virtual museum where artists can exhibit their works.

Why relevant to me: it has a lot of great visual references that are relevant to the space that I am trying to create.

3. President Barack Obama Biography Years In White House — Washington Post. Virtual museum for the 44th president of the US legacy. Basically, media collection collected together with a specific aesthetics.

Why relevant to me: works with a political subject. Besides, this project is very educational.

4. A Chair in a Room: Greenwater. A VR horror game.

Why relevant to me: the sub-level of my game happens in an environment that is a bit similar (prison-like, insane asylum-like). Watching a few YouTube videos of people playing this game in VR was also quite useful in order to realize what is scary in VR (people suddenly appearing behind you, a soundtrack full of suspense).

5. MyHeritage’s Deep Nostalgia. This website animates old photos: nothing that couldn’t be done in Runway but:

Why relevant to me: the concept itself worth noting within the framework of my project because it has also been recently used to animate politicians and the infamous Alenka monument. I use this monument in my project as well, at least for the early prototypes.

6. AI Versus. This is a truly golden, wonderful project. Two AI models have been trained to answer Russia-related questions: one has been “watching” solely state TV while learning, the other — independent channel “Rain” (Russian “Дождь”).

Why relevant to me: I analyze mechanisms of propaganda as well.

7. Raising Devendra. The story of an artist who raises her therapy chat bot built on recurrent neural network from a very basic one to the one that shows empathy and conschiousness.

Why relevant to me: deals with AI/human relationship, AI evolution controlled by human.

8. Weird Enough Productions. A social impact organization that uses diverse stories to empower young people and the adults that support them. They produce comics on how being yourself is not too weird but weird enough.

Why relevant to me: framing social problems in a form of an accessible story.

9. Actors reading out notoriously famous court sessions as a theatrical play; along with Telegram channels that publish pieces of the closed court hearings in a manner of a theatrical play.

While the closed (for whatever reason) hearing is taking place, journalists post quotes and remarks in realtime while users comment on them. That literally felt like a self-organized social project or interactive theatrical play.

I first came across this fenomena in January, 2021, while following the courts on Alexey Navalny case. I find it both breathtakingly creative and very impressive; and intimidating because it’s actually not a play but actual human life.

Why relevant to me: political, based on real events, shocking, dramatized, real.

10. In my theoretical essay I also stopped by the “Slave Play”, “Privacy”, “Say something, bunny”, all three wonderful examples of how theater and performance can go far beyond theater and performance.

Why relevant to me: “Slave Play” deals with traumatic experiences of the whole nation, “Privacy” is about the surveillance society and “Say Something Bunny” tells a story of a family taken from the old recording (sort of a time capsule). All of these motives correspond to the fundamental questions that I asked myself in the beginning of my researsch.

If all men are created equal, why slavery even exists?

If the government is watching us, why don’t we watch the government?

How can a bigger story be told through a little (family, person) story?

11. Longterm inspirations for me are projects “Life in a day” (old, new), and “Beauty inside”.

Why relevant to me: due to its collaborative nature.

12. One of ITP professor, Gene Kogan, @genekogan, is working on one of the most relevant projects form the list: “Abraham”, an open project to create an autonomous artificial artist, a decentralized AI who generates art.

Why relevant to me: AI, collaborative nature, decentralization (another important keyword for my project).

13. What’s Your Political DNA? Just a quiz.

Why relevant to me: for my project, I think a lot about what should be “written” in the DNA of the person so that they make a good politician.

Articles worth noting

Machine learning generates realistic genomes for imaginary humans.

Reconstructing Personal Stories in Virtual Reality as a Mechanism to Recover the Self