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In Event of Moon Disaster

In July 1969, much of the world celebrated the «giant leap for mankind» that the successful moon landing constituted. In 2020, nothing is quite so straightforward. «In Event of Moon Disaster» illustrates the possibilities of deepfake technologies by reimagining this seminal event.

What if the Apollo 11 mission had gone wrong and the astronauts had not been able to return home? A contingency speech for this possibility was prepared, but never delivered by President Nixon – until now. The immersive project invites you into this alternative history and asks us all to consider how new technologies can bend, redirect and obfuscate the truth around us.

Francesca Panetta is a Creative Director at the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality. She was executive editor of virtual reality at The Guardian. A multi-award-winning digital artist and journalist, she lead immersive innovation at the Guardian for the last 10 years including running the Guardian’s in house virtual reality production studio.

Halsey Burgund is an artist and technologist focussed primarily on contributory audio augmented reality installations and using spoken voices in musical settings. He is the developer of Roundware, the open-source contributory audio AR platform, which has been used to create his own installations as well as projects for cultural organizations internationally.

Francesca Panetta, Halsey Burgund

Key Collaborators:
Lewis D. Wheeler, Respeecher, Canny AI, Mariana Gruenig, Dominic Smith

Francesca Panetta, Jeff DelViscio, Laurence Topham, Halsey Burgund

Sound Editing:
Francesca Panetta, Halsey Burgund, Lukas Johnson, Claes Nystrom

Concept Design:
Magnus Bjerg, Jeff DelViscio, Francesca Panetta, Halsey Burgund

MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality

Project Supervisor:
D. Fox Harrell


6 minutes




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Talk by Francesca Panetta & Halsey Burgund

In Event of Moon Disaster