Welcome to the Project

We have entered a ‘post-truth era’, in which, Daniel J. Boorstin notes, ‘believability’ has become an acceptable substitute for ‘truth’, and ‘manifold deceptions of our culture’ are difficult to separate from ‘its few enduring truths’. In this era, communities and individuals may feel routinely duped, cheated or betrayed. Though truth may be considered intrinsically valuable, deception may sometimes be useful or necessary. Sometimes there is pleasure in the spectacle of deception.

Deception is not limited to human activity. It is also practiced by animals, plants, diseases, and machines. It is an issue that transcends disciplines, affecting communities, individuals and objects.

Core themes for development

This project will explore a number of core themes, including:

  • False identities, aliases and pseudonyms
  • Costumes and disguises
  • The relationship between truth and believability
  • Optical and perceptual illusions, including virtual reality
  • Illusion as performance
  • Camouflage, mimicry and concealment
  • Fakes, forgeries, hoaxes and decoys
  • Personal and political betrayal
  • The dissemination of deceptive material through media that connote truthfulness

Related themes will also be identified for development and exploration. Out of our deliberations it is anticipated that a series of related cross context research projects will develop.