Be Me


computer, video projector, camera, lights, custom software
Video clip 1:10.89 min.

Using an early version of artificial intelligence technology that would later become known as the more sophisticated Deepfake, Be Me is an interactive video installation that draws attention to the artist/viewer relationship. As Dean notes, “I am interested in extending the parameters of the visual art experience by presenting situations where a decision to participate is required of the viewing public. I have focused on creating works that seek to have the viewer respond in an intelligent and thoughtful manner. Issues of identity, trust and control are raised yet always with a humorous twist. BE ME taps into a shared fantasy. We all want to be someone else – here is that opportunity.”

On entering the gallery, the viewer is presented at the far end of the room with a projected image about four-feet high of the artist’s face. The image appears to be waiting. It moves slowly and its eyes blink. Directly in front of the image is a wooden chair and between the chair and the image is a microphone and a video camera. A number of studio lamps are directed at the chair. Should the viewer seat themselves, the projected image acknowledges their presence and asks, “So, do you want to be me?” There is a pause and the image says, “Say something”. If the viewer speaks, the lips of the projection move in sync with those of the participant and their voice is amplified from a speaker hidden behind the projection. The viewer’s voice, as well as lips and head movements are captured and mimicked by the projection similar to those a ventriloquist would perform. This piece is closely tied to the artist’s preoccupation with the role of avatars and the mask in his art.

Whispering Bust, 2010

from Objects Waiting, Chromogenic print