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Rhizome | 01.19.17

The Valley and the Predator

Ingrid Burrington

D&S artist-in-residence Ingrid Burrington discusses associating weaponry, like drones, with art.

The impulse to pair a technology associated with automated extralegal killing of American citizens alongside “culture and the arts” is weird, but not entirely surprising—the vantage point of drones affords a particular aesthetic in addition to plausible deniability. The aerial perspective has appealed to artists for as long as it has appealed to generals and kings. That distant, presumed-objective view from nowhere, whether achieved via hot air balloon or low-orbit satellite, suggests a totality, a kind of coherence in defiance of the often-incoherent groundtruth of everyday life. For generals, coherence offers the possibility of tactical advantage. For artists (or at least good artists), it’s something to interrogate and take apart.

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