Congress of Fakery

Abstract (in English): 

We live in a time of “fake news”... and not just “fake news” fake news for real people and real news about fake people, but fake news about fake news for fake people about fake people. So what does it mean to be “fake” in an age of accelerating information? The Congress of Fakery, a roundtable conversation on frauds, hoaxes, and other forms of informational flimflam by artists in the realm of electronic literature, aims to take up this question with a specific eye on its history, epistemology, practice, and possibilities for future fakery. Gaps we will address are: the real and the fake, the fake and the imaginary, the sender and receiver, differing cultures of reception, official and unofficial, and other rifts in the flow of information.

Historical perspectives on fakery would include: discussions of the willing (and unwilling) suspension of disbelief in print traditions; hucksters, crackpots, and quacks; and various manufactured mass misconceptions. Epistemological discussions would include: discussions of authenticity and affect; what makes a fake really fake; and attempts to institutionalize speculative knowledge. Practical discussions would explore propaganda, psyops, and behavioral engineering as tools for the certification of knock-off knowledge.

The most significant portion of this roundtable presentation would be a ranging conversation on the political and aesthetic possibilities in the area of synthetic knowledge production especially in an electronic environment. In the face of all this fakery, what can educators do to develop strategies for media literacy? What can activists do with the unstable conditions of post-factual societies? What does art add to the artificial?

Picture by Leonardo Flores
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Record posted by: 
Jane Lausten