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Disinformation As Art

Some truths are much too serious to be told with a straight face. These are often the ones that make you laugh as much as they make you weep for the tragedy of it all. To try to explain them in any way that isn’t encoded is to risk desacralizing the mysteries they invoke. This is the essence of Early Clues, in one sense, but this post is not about that. Not yet.

I have for years dabbled in the, shall we say, hyperreal arts, living in a fever dream somewhere between SEO and science fiction, an Uncanny Valley occupied by the detritus of our digital lives, deconstructed and upcycled into heirloom ephemerals, disinformation for the disenfranchised, detournment for the downtrodden.

We lack the tools to easily talk about some of this from within the framework of “art” but for me, it is very much that.

Satire is an essential component of it, but that doesn’t quite cut it as a descriptor, I think. It’s part prank, but it’s not only prank. It’s also deadly serious. It’s only masquerading as conspiracy theory, because that is an accessible doorway and useful baggage to jettison for these kinds of higher-dimensional pursuits…

I like “disinformation” because it still sounds sort of “punk” and “dangerous.” It still feels anti-establishment when applied to art, still regularly gets trotted out as a boogeyman. A degerenativist art practice were any to engage in it. Something that dilutes and deconstructs meaning, dissolves “trust” in any other authority but the present moment and what we bring to it…

Disinformation as art exposes the lies buried in plain sight all around us: that even if we become ‘influencers’ as the system pushes us all to strive to be, we will never own the means of production and distribution, and never reap the benefits of those who own the platforms themselves. So perhaps the best we can hope for is to jam a stick into the wheels for a little while, and inject some suprises into the machine. Perhaps only one person will ever find them. Perhaps none.

I’m still working out what I mean by all this, and the only real reference I found to disinformation as art was Gretchen Andrew.

So, naturally, I turned to ChatGPT, feeding it the provocation: disinformation is a temporary ontology, without myself really knowing what that might mean, partial:

Thus, the statement “disinformation is a temporary ontology” can be interpreted to mean that disinformation temporarily creates a false representation or understanding of reality or knowledge. That is, it forms a kind of pseudo-reality or false understanding that is not permanent, but can influence perceptions, beliefs, and actions during the time it is accepted as true.

ChatGPT v4

I pointed out that if we dragged in the notion of the hyperreal, it becomes not that important whether the imaged/projected meaning is construed as “true,” and it offered, partial:

Hyperreality is a term coined by French sociologist Jean Baudrillard and refers to a state where the distinction between the real and the simulated becomes blurred.

In this context, disinformation wouldn’t necessarily need to be believed as true. Rather, it might be that disinformation contributes to the creation of a simulated reality, which can then influence perceptions and behavior. This hyperreal ontology, although based on falsehoods or distortions, could then function as a temporary reality in the absence of an accessible or agreed-upon ‘real’ reality.

This simulated reality or hyperreality may be temporary in that it can shift and change with the introduction of new information, perspectives, or changes in societal discourse.


Disinformation as art is the hidden satanic messages you can hear if you play backwards the output from LLMs.

Notes I wrote a while back while stoned meditating:

The “artist” is wherever the ‘work’ happens, making the viewer also the artist, insofar as they do some of the work themselves. The artist assembles the nexus where the work can occur.

Anyway, this is just a rambly collection of odds and ends that didn’t quite fit together elsewhere. A stepping stone until next time…


Thoughts on AI, Creativity & Originality


On WorldCoin

1 Comment

  1. Tim B.

    should also have linked to this one, but there are realistically too many of these to link to:

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