My New Fake Artist Portfolio

Don’t worry if your work isn’t that good yet because there is a new service out there. One that creates a fake artist portfolio. My friend and photographer Sharon Cavanagh posted this in the APA Facebook group. After I read it – I was outraged.

Royal College of Art student Sures Kumar wrote a program that will (in a matter of minutes) pull information from Behance (without their permission) and create a stunning artist portfolio. The only problem is that the work is pulled from thousands of other artists websites randomly.  A images are presumably used without permission.

Mark Wilson wrote an article (that you should read) and says: “Pro-Folio is quite easily the ultimate tool in turnkey creative plagiarism, with its core algorithm capable of generating 690,903,803 trillion unique fictional identities. The algorithm links names to feasible countries of origin, then pulls appropriate projects to match. Fooling its audience is “the entire point of this project,” Kumar says. But Pro-Folio wasn’t created to artificially enhance your resume. Rather, it’s meant to portend a future in which machines generate artificial identities on a whim, and there’s nothing any of us can do about it.”

Here is the disclaimer that was posted on the website of Pro-Folio.org:

Disclaimer: Pro-Folio.org is a HOAX project created as a part of a Scientific Hoax project at the Royal College of Art, London. More background information, context, briefing can be found in the Science Hoax project blog. All contents displayed in the website (http://www.pro-folio.org) are dynamically generated using server side scripts. The art and design works are fetched from various online sources and the designer’s name and details are generated from a wide variety of online databases. This is a speculative academic project aimed at intellectual stimulation and debate regarding the identities generated online and is not intended to hurt any individual or corporation.

If this disclaimer is meant to make me feel better I must say – EPIC FAIL. Not much leaves me speechless, but I am at loss of words for this project because the damage it can and will cause to our already depressed industry is significant. The fact alone that someone made it this easy to use your images for free without your permission wants me to give this guy and the institution that supported him an earful. I can’t find any purposed other than this proves further that someone can use your images without permission. We knew this already, but seriously you had to write an algorithm for that?

To check it out I created my fake artist portfolio including my auto generated artist statement within literally 15 seconds. Take a look: http://www.pro-folio.org/Susan-Wiggletoe

Help me out here, what do you think this is all about? What are the different sides of the story and are we learning anything  new?

You befuddled PhotoBizCoach Beate

 

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