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Bazarian 'Can We Pretend?' by Arshile Egoyan

David Knight - 30th Nov 2021

Ashile Egoyan's achieves a distinctive version of Uncanny Valley syndrome in this rather remarkable video for Canadian composer and singer-songwriter Armen Bazarian.

Egoyan and Bazarian have created what is on one level a straightforward and simple narrative video for the sweet pop song Can We Pretend?, which also has a quality that leaves the viewer questioning their sense of reality. I guess that's the point.

In a very realistic scenario, a young woman goes about her daily business - but is she what we would normally describe as 'real'? The clue is the face - it's Bazarian's. And pretty much everyone else has his face too. 

This person looks both unlikely and completely authentic - and only later on are there any moments when then you may spot telltale signs of Deepfake tech. Up to then, it's highly convincing. Hats off to VFX artist Mitchell Barker. 

It's this understated use, in an otherwise normal setting, that is the most thought-provoking thing about it. Even if you have the most sophisticated and trained eye for spotting this type of thing, after watching this, you may be inclined to wonder - how many more times have I been fooled?

David Knight - 30th Nov 2021


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Arshile Egoyan
Armen Bazarian
Arshile Egoyan


Director of Photography
Colin Cameron
Focus Puller
Karan Boparai


Ariel Hughes


Art Director
Becca Willow Moss


Armen Bazarian

David Knight - 30th Nov 2021

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