Fakes, Forgeries and Forensics in Digital Media
I. Course Description
Fake images on social media are just one of the latest examples of fabrications and modifications that have taken media into dubious territory throughout history. This course will analyze the history of fakes and forgeries and consider whether they devalue the original or not, or even have value in themselves. Along the way, students will learn how fakes and forgeries have been created, what tools can be used to counter the onslaught of illicit creations, and the arts and humanities debates that have arisen surrounding them. After evaluating the ways various media have been modified over time, this course will show students how to use photo manipulation tools to modify digital media. It will also show students how to perform various detailed analyses of digital media to determine their legitimacy. A final project will bring these tools together, as groups of students create a fake or forgery, consider its implications and evaluate a tool’s ability to detect it.Assigned reading will be approximately 60-80 pages per week.