Fake it! Fake them! Fake you! Fake us! Publication

From Hackers & Designers
MainNavigation No

Fake it! Fake them! Fake you! Fake us!

In recent years our use and understanding of notions such as truth and reality have been heavily challenged. “White Lies”, “Fake News” and “Alternative Facts” are buzzwords that illustrate how truth might have become obsolete, and needs to be reconsidered.

The long-held idea of images as proof of reality vanished. Washed away by manipulative practices of image production our hyper-visual media streams have become highly subjective and emotional. Authenticity claims to be the new challenge while power structures shift and users become creators.

In 2018 Hackers & Designers proposed to explore the notion of truth by interrogating what the tools and technologies that we are building, using and updating and therefore reaffirming are capable of? Do we really know? Do we need to know?

The 4th edition of the H&D Summer Academy (HDSA2018) was given the title: Fake it! Fake them! Fake you! Fake us!... and calling for taking truth into own hands.

2018 was an also important year for H&D on organizational level. We started rethinking our organizational structure – actively moving away from being a central facilitator to being an instigator. H&D aims to grow and inspire communities and help developing tools and means of self-organization. Therefore the workshops of the 2018 summer academy edition were organized from the idea of a flattened hierarchy. Tutors and mentors became participants, participants became workshop leaders, everyone was taken on the collective venture of shared responsibility, bringing in their own expertise, urgencies and experiences.

While H&D's aim has been cross-disciplinary exchange last year's summer academy focused furthermore on stimulating self-organization and self-initiation, while promoting hands-on learning to enable critical design and developer’s practices. With these shared moments of learning H&D invited participants to discuss and create projects about topics related to information politics, distributed networks and algorithmic publishing. Investigating decentralized models for developing technology such as flat hierarchy wikis, IPFS, non-standard communication protocols, information networks and bot networks. We were eager to engage with the H&D community in practicing and stimulating decentralized and self-determined organizational structures and publishing methods.

By inviting hackers/designers/makers/artists who took part in our activities in 2018 to participate to this publication we propose to establish a critical perspective on truth and accountability in relation to technology, and call for an informed dealing and working with multiple truths. Together we look at the role of technical applications within the de-/construction of truth. How can the tools we build and use shape how we publish and consume media? Who can we trust when the concept of truth has vanished? Can ideas of 'subjectivity' replace the notions of objectivity and rationality? What happens to responsibility and accountability?

Anja & Juliette (Hackers & Designers)




The book was auto-generated using a tool made in collaboration with Heerko van der Kooij that was generating pdf files from html documents. In one command in the terminal we could generate the publication. For each article the script was applying a ramdom number of column between 2 and 6 and was assigning fonts for titles, names and running text from a selection of open source and libre fonts.

Docs → HTML → PDF tool.

H&D book 2018


Script to auto-generate a book from a bunch of documents downloaded from Google docs as HTML files. The script will remove most of the CSS and combine all the documents in one file: build/book.html. Then Weasyprint converts the HTML to PDF.


Make sure you have weasyprint installed as per instructions : https://weasyprint.readthedocs.io/en/stable/install.html


On mac you'll have to install some stuff with Homebrew, so read the guide. We had a problem with a Cairo version, so we had to force a version with pip install cairocf==0.9.0


pip install WeasyPrint

And install the other dependencies

pip install pathlib beautifulsoup4

We had locale errors on some machines. Set locale with:

export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

or add those to the shells .rc file


Export the documents from Google docs and place in ./srcdocs

Run clean command

./generate.sh -c

This will place the cleaned documents in ./srcdocs/clean. Adjust as needed.

Run build command

./generate.sh -b

That will generate ./build/book.html & run Weasyprint to generate ./build/book.pdf

Set the output filename by adding ./generate.sh -b --output hdbook.pdf


https://www.w3.org/TR/css-page-3/#cascading-and-page-context https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2015/01/designing-for-print-with-css/


  • Self-published by Hackers & Designers
  • Editors: Anja Groten and Juliette Lizotte
  • 2019, Amsterdam

All sources referenced in this publication were accessed during 2018.

Design: Anja Groten, Juliette Lizotte, Heerko van der Kooij.


  • Stills from HDSA2018 video report by Juliette Lizotte
  • Gmap stones by Isabel Garcia Argos
  • Planets by Dennis Fechner
  • Prototyping Next Senses workshop at Border Sessions 2018 with Next Nature and Smell of Data
  • Rubbings made during Lucas LaRochelle workshop Queering the Map during HDSA2018
  • Prototypes made during the self-driving car workshop with Formes Vives
  • Screenshots of Neural Network remix of Queering the Map quotes by Lucas La Rochelle, made during the workshop of Moritz Ebeling about Machine learning at * HDSA2018
  • Screenshots from the Neural Network in the process of learning during Moritz Ebeling workshop about Machine learning at HDSA2018
  • Screenshot from Deepfake workshop by Anastasia Davydova Lewis

H&D Summer Academy 2018: Participants: Shailoh Phillips, Anja Groten, Leon Butler, Javier Lloret, Lucas LaRochelle, Jo Caimo, Celeste Perret, Antonin Giroud-Delorme, Juan Arturo Garcia, Hay Kranen, André Fincato, Marcel Goethals, Jaroslav Toussaint, Vera van de Seyp, Biyi Wen, Joel Galvez, Moritz Ebeling, Anastasia Davydova Lewis, Joana Chicau, Meike Hardt, Dorian de Rijk, Selby Gildemacher, James Bryan Graves, Heerko van der Kooij, Juliette Lizotte, Isabel da Costa, Vincent de Graaf and Karl.

With generous contributions by: fanfare, Louis Center, Anastasia Kubrak, Lucas LaRochelle, Lyudmila Savchuk, Hackers & Designers

Universe of [ ] images: Participants and contributors Universe of [ ] images: Leith Behkhedda, Miram Chair, Roberta Esposito, Dennis Fechner, Raphaël Fischer-Dieskau, Isabel Garcia Argos, Sophie Golle, Katherina Gorodynska, Niels van Haaften, Jan Husstedt, Tiziana Krüger, Felix Rasehorn, Lisa Schirmacher, Io Alexa Sivertsen, Jurian Strik, Upendra Vaddadi, Lacey Verhalen Organised by: FROH!, Hackers & Designers With generous contributions by: fanfare, Aram Bartholl, Ilan Greenberg, Adam Harvey, Hay Kranen, Colm O’Neill, Arthur Steiner, Leonardo Dellanoce, Coralie Vogelaar

Thank you: fanfare, Motoki, Atelier 4, Tara’s Keuken

Typefaces: The fonts are randomly chosen from libre fonts designed by womxn found on http://design-research.be/by-womxn/ a project by Loraine Furter. This collection aims at giving visibility to libre fonts drawn by womxn designers, who are often underrepresented in the typography field.


  • Riso Printed by Stencilzolder, Amsterdam
  • Newspaper pages printed with Print on Paper

Binding: Hennink, Amsterdam

Copy Editor: Rosie Haward

Coordination: Juliette Lizotte

With the kind support of Stimuleringsfonds Stifo-logo.gif