, film, graphic materials, and
museums. Harnessing diverse methodological approaches to the variety of those visual
formats ( de Laat and Gorin, 2016 ; Kurasawa, 2015 ; Lenette, 2016 ), each of the contributions asks how the specific
logics, demands, languages, and aesthetics of those media framed historical ways of
presenting, seeing, and engaging with suffering.
One important finding emerging from those inquiries is that each of those visual media
– including the individuals behind them – shaped
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
and cultural context. Architects are meant to focus on the unique appropriateness of
a single design, carefully tailored to a situation. Architects are meant to consider
the ‘softer’ side of shelter, looking at the quality of the space and
the sensitivity of the aesthetics. Architects are trained to think about homes as
deeply contextual, rooted in iterative processes of design. The result may indeed by
utopian and unworkable, but it is very different from the work of innovators and
Visual Advocacy in the Early Decades of Humanitarian Cinema
pictures to produce an immersive spectacle, relying on the cinematic realism of non-fiction movies to increase the ‘perceptual experience’ and the ‘aesthetics of astonishment’ of the viewers ( Crawford-Holland, 2018 ). Back in the 1920s, ‘cinema … “virtually” extended human perceptions to events and locations beyond their physical and temporal bounds’ ( Uricchio, 1997 : 119). Humanitarian cinema thus participated in transnational campaigns aiming to mobilize and sensitize national audiences. More specifically, these movies also advocated on behalf of distant
the World , for instance, promised ‘photographs of the family and its home’ that provided an ‘objective look into each family’s environment. There are no concessions to aesthetics or technique there. The photographs reveal the hard facts of life, and, in doing so, help us grasp the increasing depth of the chasm separating peoples and nations’ ( Tremblay, 1988 : preface).
The authors of the psychopedagogical guide warned that the exposure of children to images of the Global South was to be done in a relation of trust. The pupils’ sense of honesty and fairness
This book investigates drone technology from a humanities point of view by exploring how civilian and military drones are represented in visual arts and literature. It opens up a new aesthetic ‘drone imaginary’, a prism of cultural and critical knowledge, through which the complex interplay between drone technology and human communities is explored, and from which its historical, cultural and political dimensions can be assessed. The contributors to this volume offer diverse approaches to this interdisciplinary field of aesthetic drone imaginaries. Sprouting from art history, literature, photography, feminism, postcolonialism and cultural studies, the chapters provide new insights to the rapidly evolving field of drone studies. They include historical perspectives on early unmanned aviation and aerial modes of vision; they explore aesthetic configurations of drone swarming, robotics and automation; and they engage in current debates on how drone technology alters the human body, upsets available categories, and creates new political imaginaries.
Lisa Parks and Caren Kaplan, a work that does indeed span the breadth of humanities disciplines to include historical, colonial, gendered and networked perceptions of drones. While the contributions to Parks’s and Kaplan’s volume engage with non-Western representations of drone war, this perspective is even more thoroughly unfolded in Ronak K. Kapadia’s recent book Insurgent Aesthetics: Security and the Queer Life of the Forever War (2019), which conceptualises the world-making power of contemporary art responses to US militarism in the Middle East. There is no
turning the aesthetic gaze back on the medium of representation and its means of production, drones betray a modernist rather than a postmodernist aesthetic. 15 Crucial in this regard is the foregrounding of the grid, the ultimate modernist schema, which, as Rosalind E. Krauss argues, ‘states the autonomy of the realm of art. Flattened, geometricised, ordered, it is antinatural, antimimetic, antireal’. 16 In a tribute to Kracauer’s aesthetics or the planar networks of de Stijl, Mondrian, or Malevich, the American news weekly Time commemorated its 11 June, 2018
, ‘Necropolitics’, 40.
63 L. Parks, ‘Vertical mediation and the US drone war in the Horn of Africa’, in Parks and Kaplan (eds), Life in the Age of Drone Warfare , 145.
64 Mbembe, ‘Necropolitics’, 21.
65 J. Butler, Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence (London: Verso, 2004) , 91.
66 Stubblefield, Drone Art , 33.
67 P. Adey, ‘Making the drone strange: The politics, aesthetics and surrealism of levitation’, Geographica Helvetica 71 (2016) : 320.
68 Adey, ‘Making the drone strange’, 321.
69 Haraway, ‘Promises of monsters’, 300.
beings and their sad belongings, the photos thus uncover a changed Europe and address an inconvenient truth about how we as Europeans protect our Western communities against immigration. Through its clean aesthetics and distanced gaze, the drone captures this tension by mirroring the governmental view from above, which sees no individuals, only faceless numbers.
Andreas Immanuel Graae and Rasmus Degnbol first became acquainted in 2016 when they both spoke at a drone conference at the H. C. Andersen Airport in Odense, Denmark. Since then they have developed a
Nineteenth-century hot air balloons as early drones
the physiological mechanisms of the human eye: the windows as an eye’s lens, the basket as the eye’s posterior chamber, and the ropes as its optic nerve. Depending on the balloon’s position and the surrounding atmospheric conditions, the lens can adjust its visual acuity. Sometimes, the view is crystal clear against the blue sky; at other times, in clouds and fog, visibility is low. 13 Giannozzo, as the balloon’s captain, seems to be a part of this balloon eye. The text names him as the black head with green coat. 14 Translating this image into the aesthetics of