The obituaries and persons on this website are hallucianted by an artificial neural network trained on web obituaries. Refresh the page to generate a new obituary.
thisObituaryDoesNotExist comprises a physical and digital collection of obituaries generated by two artificial neural networks. The algorithms (StyleGAN and GPT-2) are shown images and text taken from publicly available online obituaries, and asked to imagine new obituaries. In this way, the system generates infinitely many photographs, death narratives, and life stories for persons who never existed.
The physical exhibition consists of a collection of funeral pamphlets containing a selection of the generated obituary text and images, each pamphlet dedicated to the life and death of one generated person. By making these printed materials indistinguishable from funeral pamphlets for physical persons, Davis invites us to consider how these objects differ-from and are similar-to each other. In this way, the line between generated fiction and physical realty becomes blurred, and we are invited to question what constitutes an authentic personal identity in an era of massive data, social media, and creative artificial intelligences.
thisObituaryDoesNotExist interrogates how technology affects, distributes, and manipulates human experiences of death and grief. The digital website generates a new obituary each time the page is refreshed.
created by Josh Urban Davis. Please follow on twitter/instagram: @kweenofparts or on the web
∞ What is this?
THIS OBITUARY DOES NOT EXIST