Steven Wilson has released a mind-bending video for the track Self as his face is warped into a series of iconic and infamous celebs.
Directed by his long-time visual collaborator Miles Skarin the video uses similar deep fake technology similar to that that used in Channel 4’s Alternative Queen’s Speech last Christmas. In the video, Steven’s face is warped into those of a series of iconic – and occasionally infamous – celebrities including Donald Tr*mp, Joe Biden, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Zuckerberg, Brad Pitt and David Bowie
“In our early discussions about the Self video, we were talking about the concept of identity in the digital age, how your face is not only your key to a lot of the media you consume, it represents who you are – or who you pretend to be in your online personas” recalls Miles Sarkin.
“One of the most intriguing new developments in recent years has been the ability to create deepfakes, where a computer runs a machine-learning algorithm to predict what one face would look like in another’s pose. Anyone with the right tools and ability can now turn themselves into anyone else, so what does that mean for identity?”
The effect is equal parts mesmerising and disturbing, as Steven questions the nature of identity in an age where everything is so easy to fake.
“Self is about our new age of narcissism and self-obsession, one in which a human race that used to look out with curiosity at the world and the stars now spends much of its time gazing at a little screen to see themselves reflected back in the mirror of social media,” notes Steven Wilson.
“In that sense, everyone now can take part in the notion of celebrity and has the potential to share their life with an invisible mass of people they will never meet. The video takes things further by exploring the idea that anyone can now project a version or “self” that has no bearing on reality, and by using only well-known faces the deception is made transparent.”
Self is taken from Steven Wilson’s sixth album The Future Bites which is out now.
Words by Paul Clarke, you can see his author profile here.