Arthur Holland Michel
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The life, death, and rebirth of drone art
in Drone imaginaries
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Stemming from a year-long research initiative that has compiled a comprehensive portfolio of works encompassing the drone art movement, this chapter explores the features and functions of the many artistic interventions that have sought to address, interrogate, and often protest the advent of unmanned vehicles and their growing use in both peacetime and wartime skies. Focusing on the genre’s most active years, particularly in the period from 2010 to 2016, the chapter discusses the common assumptions, contradictions, and motivations behind these works, and describes their role in providing an arena and vocabulary for an effective and wide-ranging community and political discourse around drones and the attendant issues of transparency, human rights, privacy, and automation. Looking to the future of the movement, the author will theorise as to how the genre’s forms, functions, and communities will evolve in light of ongoing shifts in both prevailing public attitudes toward drones and the evolution of the technology itself, and ultimately ask whether ‘drone art’ as it has been understood and defined heretofore can remain a viable and influential proposition given the increasingly familiar, though no less resolved, technological realities and tensions of our drone-filled world.

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Drone imaginaries

The power of remote vision


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