Beautiful Agony
Joan Fontcuberta ()
Beautiful Agony

Working with a dataset of portraits of people in the middle of orgasm (taken from the webpage on which thousands of users published video-selfies, guaranteeing that their orgasm is not false but authentic), we used GAN (Generative Adversatorial Networks) technology to initiate a process of deep learning aiming to generate false portraits of (non-existent) persons at the moment of climax. This process makes it possible to identify the expressive models characteristic of orgasm and to transfer their expressive typology to any face.
By way of a case study, we applied them in a deliberately exaggerated way to a certain category of powerful figures from the political sphere, those involved in high-profile sex scandals, episodes of harassment or flagrant adultery. This time, then, it is the turn Donald Trump, Silvio Berlusconi, Juan Carlos de Bourbon and Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the protagonists in well-known case of abuses of power and sexist violence favoured by patriarchal society.
Deepfake now offers a degree of refinement that hides the manipulation to the point of invisibility. In this case, we preferred to opt for grotesque exaggeration, that is to say, for a fiction that does not claim to deceive but reveals, precisely, the mechanisms of deceit.
The installation is completed by 3D snapshots that correspond to the four figures, busts with petrified faces, as if the eye of Medusa – the eye of history that shows up shame – had caught them in the epiphany of ecstasy.

Joan Fontcuberta
Joan Fontcuberta Antarctica
    • Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains est né de la volonté du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication d’implanter dans le nord de la France, un établissement supérieur d’enseignement artistique d’un type nouveau, pôle d’excellence d’envergure nationale et internationale, dont les références furent exprimées par quelques formules telles que « un IRCAM des arts plastiques » ou encore « une villa Médicis high-tech ».

Sa pédagogie, principalement fondée sur la production d’œuvres de toute sorte dont le point commun est l’intégration de techniques audiovisuelles professionnelles, en fait un lieu de production, d’expérimentation et de diffusion totalement inédit.

    • INA Institut National de l'Audiovisuel
    • Beatiful Agony, Facettes de la petite mort Beautiful Agony is a paid-subscription erotic website featuring head shots of user-submitted videos showing the participant having orgasms, without providing any visual description of what technique is being used or revealing anything below the neck and upper chest. Men and women are featured on the site.