RT Creative Lab recreated the legend of Russian avant-garde and modern photography Alexander Rochenko in the Deepfake video masterclass series on the centenary of Vkhutemas’s birth and his 130th birthday.
Rodchenko.LIVE is a series of deepfake videos in which the artist tells about the legacy of the visionary Russian art and design school Vkhutemas (Higher Art and Technology Studio)-the Soviet rival of the German Bauhaus. Rodchenko taught architecture and metalworking at Vkhutemas and pioneered design concepts in Russia.
Shortly after the Russian Revolution in 1917, Vkhutemas was established, and the monarchy was abolished. It is considered to be an institution that trains artists and craftsmen, with the goal of achieving national efficiency and production goals. But its legacy is short-lived-it was permanently closed in 1930 and the professors were purged.
Rodchenko.LIVE will consist of four videos and will be released in 2021-2022. In the first episode “Future Experiment”, Rodchenko introduced his life and created a new type of craftsman in Vkhutemas.
“The Rodchenko.LIVE project is a meeting point of many types of art-artificial intelligence technology, theater performances, design animation, film photography, and music design. In fact, we have a digital education single-player show. In my opinion, deepfake and machines For the first time in history, learning techniques have been successfully applied to produce a complete video series containing lectures by real historical figures.” Said Kirill Karnovich-Valua, creative director of RT Creative Lab.
The project is a collaboration with RT’s creative development department, director Alexander Scryabin and Physicalism – A company developer of vision solutions based on artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality.
Rodchenko was recreated in the video using the deepfake algorithm, a technology that combines images with artificial intelligence. The project is unique because only a few historical photos were used.
“Our task is to use Rodchenko to make several Deepfake videos. The total duration is about 40 minutes and the resolution is 4K. Only a few photos are suitable for this purpose. In contrast, the Dali Life Project uses more than 6,000 images. These images were obtained from selected videos by Salvador Dali,” Said Denis Leonov, Phygitalism’s project manager.
The script of Rodchenko.LIVE is based on the diary, memoirs, personal letters, lessons and art of this avant-garde artist. Some materials were donated to the project by Alexander Lavrendiyev, a scholar and professor at the Stroganov Academy, Rodchenko’s grandson.
“In fact, we don’t have any archive movie clips or a large number of photo files. We reframed the image of the artist-just as we imagined after studying archives, memoirs, and reading interviews with relatives and future generations.” Said Alexander Skryabin, director of the Rodchenko.LIVE project.
“When casting the role of Rodchenko, our goal is not only to find the person who is most similar in anatomy (this is the basic requirement of Deepfake), we also seek academic expression and a certain degree of plasticity to complement the artist’s performance And narrative, so he will eliminate his artificiality in the frame. Original costumes, shoes and other accessories made from historical photos, as well as such small details (hats, pipes, cup holders) greatly complement his image.”
This video series is part of a larger project called Vkhutemas.academy Aims to revive the legacy of visionary art schools using contemporary media formats. The website will be available in English soon.
RT Creative Lab is an Emmy-nominated digital internal team within RT International News Network.