Deep-Rooted Images: Situating (Extra) Institutional Appropriations of Deepfakes in the US and India

  • Kailyn Slater
  • Akriti Rastogi


The paper aims to map institutional and extra-institutional affordances and appropriations of deepfake images through an analytical framework that accounts for the socio-political contexts of the US and India. Our main argument involves the inevitable leakage of technologies outside institutions and its redressal through corporatized comebacks. Utilizing vernacular and global examples, we trace the perceived ownership and extended modalities of deepfake images and videos. While compositing (Manovich 2006) and habitual media (Chun 2016) predetermine our deep mediatized world (Hepp 2019), deepfakes, as a visual cultural technology newly popular within the political economy of media, offer a novel entry point into locating the neoliberal ethos of both socio-political contexts and their respective apparatuses and valences of control. Thus, the paper articulates the coordinates of deepfake affordances to situate the technological power and political rhetoric that governs our international media situation across differing but interrelated socio-political contexts.


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