Me The Drag Queen, Jake Elwes / United Kingdom / 2023 / 45 min

Zizi & Me: a deepfake drag double act! Using Artificial Intelligence and real life drag, Me The Drag Queen and Jake Elwes present a unique show about queerness, cabaret and technology.

‘Zizi & Me’ is a double act between drag queen ‘Me The Drag Queen’, and a deepfake (A.I.) clone of ‘Me The Drag Queen’. By training a neural network* on filmed footage this network learnt to construct a virtual body that can be controlled by feeding it new reference movements. The first act ‘Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)’ satirizes the idea that an AI is something that we might mistake for a human. Through drag performance, we aim to use cabaret and musical theatre to challenge narratives surrounding A.I. and society. The project explores the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and drag performance. Drag challenges gender and explores otherness, while A.I. is often mystified as a concept and tool, and is complicit in reproducing social bias. Zizi combines these themes through a deepfake, synthesised drag identity created using machine learning. The project explores what AI can teach us about drag, and what drag can teach us about A.I. en