Groundbreaking musician/songwriter/producer Steven Wilson has shared a mind-bending video for the track “Self,” taken from his just-released album THE FUTURE BITES.
Directed by longtime visual collaborator Miles Skarin, the video uses deep fake technology (DeepFaceLab) so that Wilson’s face is warped into those of a series of iconic (and occasionally infamous) celebrities including (among others) Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Zuckerberg, Brad Pitt and David Bowie (to name a few). The effect is equal parts mesmerizing and disturbing, questioning the nature of identity in an age where everything is so easy to fake. The video premiered today on a digital billboard in Times Square (corner of Broadway and 7th and 43rd) at 7am EST and is now online everywhere.
“‘Self’ is about our new age of narcissism and self-obsession,” says Wilson, “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. 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 of “self” that has no bearing on reality, and by using only well-known faces the deception is made transparent.
“In our early discussions about the ‘Self’ video, we were talking about the concept of identity in the digital age,” says Skarin, “how your face is not only your key to a lot of the media you consume, it represents who you are – or whom you pretend to be in your online personas. One of the most intriguing new developments in recent years has been the ability to create deep fakes, 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 FUTURE BITES is available now on all digital platforms, along with vinyl, CD, and a limited-edition deluxe box set that contains CDs of the album, an instrumental version of the album, bonus material (including six additional songs and several reworked versions of the album tracks, among them a 19-minute extended mix of “Personal Shopper”), a cassette of demos, and a Blu-ray featuring videos and Wilson’s own 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos versions of the album (marking THE FUTURE BITES as the first contemporary album to be mixed and released in Dolby Atmos). STREAM/DOWNLOAD THE FUTURE BITES