“The World of Drone Art” Virtual Exhibition: Being Human Festival, 12-22 November 2020

Please click on the image to access the 3D gallery

As part of Being Human 2020, the UK’s national festival of the humanities, we’ve put together a 3D virtual exhibition on “The World of Drone Art” for the festival theme of “New Worlds”. How have drones created new ways of visualizing and embodying our world? How do drone innovations intersect with broader developments in data analysis and artificial intelligence? How have contemporary artists explored the origins, ethics, and futures of drone use, and what do their aesthetic strategies tell us about the world of drones?

You can access the virtual exhibition, which is navigable by browser or mobile, from 12-22 November 2020 on the University of Sheffield’s Being Human website here.

The exhibition includes “The Art of Drone Warfare” sound piece, commissioned from PhD researcher Jean-Baptiste Masson, who spoke about his thinking behind the music in this post. The gallery is best experienced with headphones, though you can mute your browser if and when you wish.

The artworks chosen for this virtual exhibition are by no means exhaustive, and there were limitations to what I could do and who I could include on the Kunstmatrix platform. But they are an eclectic representation of works by some of the most significant contemporary artists thinking about drones, the aerial view, the history of violence from above, and the promises and pitfalls of drones both as a technology and as an imaginary. I am grateful to each of the artists for their participation in this project:

James Bridle

Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox

Mahwish Chishty

Joseph DeLappe

elin o’Hara slavick

Tomas van Houtryve

Addie Wagenknecht

Forensic Architecture

Please stay tuned for a virtual gallery talk, which will take place as a screencast on YouTube, on Sunday 15 November 2020 at 5pm GMT UK time. There, I’ll speak about some of the research I’ve been doing on drones and aesthetics, about the ethos behind using the Kunstmatrix 3D platform for exploring the relationship between drones and mediated experiences, and about some of the artworks in more detail. The chat on YouTube will also be open if you want to ask any questions or offer any comments about this virtual exhibition, or about any of the work that we’ve been doing. Details about the talk are here; a recorded version will be posted here on our website afterward.

Conference Registration Now Open

Registration for the Aesthetics of Drone Warfare conference is now open here.

For more information about the conference, including the draft programme, please visit our conference pages above. In addition to the papers, highlights include:

This event is generously sponsored by a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award, and all are very welcome to participate. We look forward to seeing you in Sheffield in February 2020.

Podcast 1: Interview with Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox

Podcast 1: Interview with Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox

We’re delighted to share our first Aesthetics of Drone Warfare podcast, a conversation with Brisbane-based artist, Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox. Kathryn speaks about drones, temporality, distance, clouds, meta-veillance, existential risk, the Anthropocene, painting, and the relationship between academic research and creative practice. There’s also a shout-out to our conference keynote, Derek Gregory, among many other important researchers!

Her ‘dronescapes’ are currently being shown in a solo exhibition at the POP Gallery in Brisbane from 27 August — 7 September 2019.

Below are two pieces of artwork that are referenced and especially relevant to the discussion in the podcast. More of Kathryn’s work can be found on her blog, which has been archived on PANDORA, Australia’s national archive for online sites ‘of significance and long-term research value,’ since 2014.

The New Clouds (Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm, 2017) by Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox
Stay Alert: Says the Tree (Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm, 2019) by Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox