Unmanned Aerial Ecologies

Unmanned Aerial Ecologies
Proto-drones, airspace and canaries in the mine

At talk for Goldsmiths, London, 16 January 2014

Credits and References

Sincere thanks also to: Marko Peljhan, Kate Rich, Natalie Jeremijenko, Usman Haque, Trevor Paglen, James Bridle and all the artists & technologists cited.

Lighthouse: http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/
Particle Decelerator: http://decelerator.blogspot.co.uk/
Title Slide: Time study (Predator; Indian Springs, NV) by Trevor Paglen (2010)
Closing image (and above): C-Astral UAV (courtesy of Marko Peljhan)

Artworks/projects referenced in Introduction:
– Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk: http://is.gd/globalhawk
– A drone pilot at the base at Hancock Field. Image: Heather Ainsworth for The New York Times: http://is.gd/droneoperator
In the Air by Nerea Calvillo & collaborators: http://intheair.es/info/project-credits.html
New Zealand Wireless Map by Mark Hansen: http://markhansen.co.nz/nz-wireless-map/
oval.maschine by r a d i o q u a l i a (1999). Photographed at CACSA, Adelaide, Australia: http://is.gd/rqateq
– Honor Harger and Adam Willets, photographed at the Acoustic Space Lab, Latvia, 2001: http://acoustic.space.re-lab.net/lab/
Frequency Clock – tactical radio system by r a d i o q u a l i a (1998-2002): http://v2.nl/archive/works/the-frequency-clock.
Frequency Clock being used to create thing.fm, New York, 2002: http://fm.thing.net/
Polar Radio by r a d i o q u a l i a and I-TASC, Antarctica, 2007: http://is.gd/polar_radio
Atlas of Electromagnetic Space by Jose Luis de Vicente & Bestario (2008). Co-commissioned by AV Festival: http://spectrumatlas.org/
Aeriology by Joyce Hinterding (2008), exhibited at the Reg Vardy Gallery, Sunderland, as part of AV Festival: http://is.gd/aeriology
20Hz by Semiconductor (2011), co-commissioned by Lighthouse: http://is.gd/20_hz
Mesopotamian Dramatugies (Su & Mayhem) by Kutlug Ataman (2011), exhibited at Brighton Festival, 2011: http://is.gd/kutlugataman
Laboratory Life at Lighthouse, 2011: http://is.gd/laboratory_life
levelHead by Julian Oliver (2008) shown at Suspending Disbelief, Lighthouse, 2010: http://www.lighthouse.co.uk/programme/suspending-disbelief
Frequency & Volume by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, shown at Invisible Fields: http://is.gd/invisible
Evolution of Fearlessness by Lynette Wallworth shown at Brighton Festival, 2011: http://is.gd/lynettewallworth
Happenstance (2012) – residencies for creative technologists: http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/happenstance-residencies-for-technologists
data.tron [8K enhanced version] by Ryoji Ikeda (2008-09): http://www.ryojiikeda.com/project/datamatics/#datatron_8k_enhanced_version
bitplane by Bureau of Inverse Technology (1997-98): http://bureauit.org/plane
Situational Awareness by Marko Peljhan (2007) at Ars Electronica, Austria, 2007: http://is.gd/situational
– C-Astral UAV: http://c-astral.com/ – Image courtesy of Marko Peljhan.
– William Gibson quoted in Spooky Country (2007): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spook_Country
– Northrop Grumman RQ-4 Global Hawk: http://is.gd/globalhawk
– RT32, VIRAC, Latvia. Photograph courtesy of Raitis Smits, RIXC, 2002.
– Trevor Paglen with telescope. Photograph from MIT: http://arts.mit.edu/va/artist/paglen/
– Marko Peljhan at the World-C4U exhibition, Brussels, 2000: http://is.gd/WorldC4U

Images referenced in Part 1:

The Knife – stock-trading algorithm. Image courtesy of Kevin Slavin: http://is.gd/kevinslavin
– The Boston Shuffler – stock-trading algorithm. Image courtesy of Kevin Slavin: http://is.gd/kevinslavin
– The proposed Center for Innovation, Testing and Evaluation, New Mexico: http://www.forumforthefuture.org/greenfutures/articles/worlds-first-city-robots
– Google Data Centre, Dulles: http://www.google.co.uk/about/datacenters/
Accelerate to the Cloud billboard, photographed at Auckland Airport, New Zealand, August, 2011. Photograph by Honor Harger.
– Microsoft Data Centre, Dublin: http://is.gd/3TMFkA
– Facebook Data Centre, Prineville, Oregon: http://is.gd/gGk6fE
– Cloud computing survey commissioned by Citrix, August 2012: http://www.citrix.com/lang/English/lp/lp_2328330.asp

Artworks/projects referenced in Part 2:

bitplane by Bureau of Inverse Technology (1997-98): http://bureauit.org/plane
– Bureau of Inverse Technology quotations come from the Decade Project: http://bureauit.org/decade/
– Photograph of Marko Peljhan: http://www.ladomir.net/bio-summary
Makrolab, Rottnest Island, Australia (2000): http://makrolab.ljudmila.org/mark2.html Photograph from: http://www.ladomir.net/peljhan-territories
Makrolab, Blair Atholl Estate, Scotland (2002). Photograph by r a d i o q u a l i a: http://radioqualia.va.com.au/documentation/makrolab/index.html
– Fixing satellite dish, Blair Atholl Estate, Scotland, 2002. Photograph by r a d i o q u a l i a
SCATTER! by Marko Peljhan and colleagues (2008), AV Festival, BALTIC, Gateshead, UK: http://www.ladomir.net/Scatter-2008
– Marko Peljhan quoted in Invisible Territory, a documentary by Zemira Alajbegovic, RTV Slovenia, 2007: http://vimeo.com/44982545
TRUST 15 [Tactical Radio Unified System Transport] by Marko Peljhan (1999), at PS1 Gallery in New York. Images courtesy of Peljhan.
TRUST-SYSTEM 22: http://is.gd/TRUST22
– Marko Peljhan quoted in Situational Awareness catalogue (2007), Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria: http://is.gd/situational
Territory 1995 by Marko Peljhan (2009), Istanbul Biennale, Turkey: http://www.ladomir.net/territory-1995-istanbul-biennale-2009
INSULAR technologies by Marko Peljhan (1999): http://www.n5m.org/n5m3/pages/insular3.html & original concept (1997): http://is.gd/insular_nettime
– Marko Peljhan quoted in transcript of Strategies of Minimal Resistance, lecture given at SCCA, Ljubljana, 1999. English translation: http://is.gd/ljSTBg
System-77-CCR (SYSTEM-77 / CIVIL COUNTER-RECONNAISSANCE) by Marko Peljhan (2004): http://s-77ccr.org/
Makrolab, Isola di Campalto, Venice Biennale (2003): http://makeworlds.net/node/12
– Marko Peljhan quoted in Invisible Territory – see above.
– Transmission from Iranian television allegedly showing footage of captured U.S drone RQ-170, December 2011:
– Nejc Trost, pictured with C-Astral UAV. Photograph: http://is.gd/5VbKJE
– C-ASTRAL UAV systems, Slovenia: http://c-astral.com/
– Documentation of Bramor gEO UAV from C-ASTRAL: http://c-astral.com/. Additional photographs courtesy of Marko Peljhan.
– Bramor gEO UAV flying over Gijon, Spain in 2009:

Artworks/projects referenced in Part 3:

– Invisible Fields (2011), co-curated by Honor Harger and José Luis de Vicente at Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona 2011-12: http://is.gd/invisible
– Wireless in the World by Timo Arnall (2010): http://is.gd/wirelessworld – shown at Invisible Fields.
– Timo Arnall quoted in No to NoUI by Timo Arnall, March 2013: http://www.elasticspace.com/2013/03/no-to-no-ui
– Geographies of Seeing by Trevor Paglen (2012), co-curated by Honor Harger and Celia Davies, at Lighthouse: http://is.gd/paglen
Paglen artworks shown:
Artifacts (Spacecraft in Perpetual Geosynchronous Orbit, 35,786 km Above Equator) (2010)
PAN (Unknown; USA-207) (2010)
KEYHOLE IMPROVED CRYSTAL from Glacier Point (Optical Reconnaissance Satellite; USA 1860) (2008)
After Galileo (Jupiter and Moons)
They Watch the Moon (2010)
National Reconnaissance Office Ground Station (ADF-SW) Jornada del Muerto, New Mexico (2012)
N5177C at Gold Coast Terminal Las Vegas, NV; Distance ~ 1 mile (2007)
Detachment 3, Air Force Flight Test Center #2, Groom Lake, NV, Distance ~26 Miles (2008)
Reaper Drone, Indian Springs, NV Distance ~ 2 miles (2010)
Untitled (Predators; Indian Springs, NV) (2010)
Time study (Predator; Indian Springs, NV) (2010)
– Trevor Paglen quoted in, “Limit Telephotography”, Under Fire research forum, 2006: http://underfire.eyebeam.org/?q=node/469

Artworks/projects referenced in Part 4:
– Under the Shadow of the Drone (2013) by James Bridle: http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/james-bridle-under-the-shadow-of-the-drone
– James Bridle quoted in Drone Shadows, 2012: http://booktwo.org/notebook/drone-shadows/
– James Bridle quoted in Ring of Steel, 2013: https://www.readmatter.com/a/ring-of-steel/
Hercules Missile Landscape by Mariele Neudecker (2010), being shown at Lighthouse for Brighton Festival 2013: http://www.lighthouse.org.uk/programme/lighthouse-at-brighton-festival – Nike Historic Missile Site, Golden Gate National Park, USA: http://www.nps.gov/goga/nike-missile-site.htm
Psychopomp by Mariele Neudecker (2010) – Hercules Missile rubbings: http://www.marieleneudecker.co.uk/marieleneudeckej.html – to be exhibited at Lighthouse, May 2013
The Air Itself is One Vast Library by Mariele Neudecker (2010): http://www.marieleneudecker.co.uk/marieleneudeckei.html
– Charles Babbage quoted in The Ninth Bridgewater Treatise (1837): http://is.gd/babbage
Electronic Countermeasures by Liam Young, Tomorrows Thoughts Today (2011): http://vimeo.com/36267881

Artworks/projects referenced in Conclusion:

Here Be Dragons: the Unstable Landscapes of GPS by Will Gowland (2011): http://vimeo.com/44446581
– C-Astral UAV in sunset, courtesy of Marko Peljhan.


1 comment
  1. There’s definately a lot to know about this subject.

    I really like all the points you’ve made.

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