The Politics of AI and Drag

Activity: Academic talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Join us for a live (online) discussion with the artists and curator of the Edinburgh Futures Institute’s and The Edinburgh International Festival’s co-presentation – The New Real.

The New Real is a digital art exhibition that aims to build awareness and understanding of the ways data systems and artificial intelligence reflect and shape our social reality. The New Real artworks were developed with EFI. Creating a deeply valued, rich and multidimensional relationship between artists and researchers they are part of a wider programme of projects being developed by EFI.

The Zizi Show is an artwork by Jake Elwes. Made in collaboration with a community of drag artists, it constructs and deconstructs ‘deepfake’ performers using cabaret and musical theatre to challenge narratives surround AI and society.

The ‘AI drag artist’ Zizi is a ‘deepfake’ clone of human drag performers – a virtual body, developed by training a neural network on filmed footage using machine learning.

Drag challenges gender and explores otherness, while AI is often mystified as a tool and contains social bias. The project explores what AI can teach us about drag, and what drag can teach us about AI

Curated by Drew Hemment, Chancellor’s Fellow and Reader for the Edinburgh Futures Institute and Edinburgh College of Art, The New Real will be available online at from 8 March and is supported by the University of Edinburgh, Ars Electronica, Creative Scotland, Creative Informatics, and the Data-Driven Innovation programme of the South East Scotland City and Region Deal.
Period18 Mar 2021
Event titleThe Politics of AI and Drag
Event typeOther
LocationEdinburgh, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational