James Bridle - Meet The Artist
At this Meet the Artist event, London artist and creative technologist, James Bridle discussed his large outdoor drawing of a Reaper drone aircraft, Under the Shadow of the Drone. A project Lighthouse is presenting at Brighton Festival 2013 revealing the controversial weapons of war our governments would rather we did not see.
In his talk, entitled A Quiet Disposition, James presented his ongoing research into drones and how contemporary networked technologies, while enabling the digitally saturated culture of the 21st century, can also obscure and distance us from moral and political responsibility.
Under the Shadow of the Drone - James Bridle - Brighton Festival 2013
Under the Shadow of the Drone (2013) by James Bridle
The unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, has become one of the most potent weapons of contemporary warfare. Lighthouse has commissioned artist and writer James Bridle to create a life-size depiction of a Reaper drone on Madeira Drive, down on Brighton's seafront. This work makes these controversial weapons visible on our streets.
This film, directed by Brian McClave, depicts the installation of the drone by James Bridle and the Hi-Way Services road-marking team, on May Day, 2013. The drone will remain on the seafront until 26 May.
The Reaper drone is used for surveillance and bombing missions, in the declared war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq, and in undeclared conflicts in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere. Such wars are made possible by the invisibility of drones to most people.
On May Day, the RAF announced that armed Reaper drones flying in Afghanistan are being controlled by pilots located in the UK for the first time.
The stark marking out in a public space of a Reaper drone's silhouette brings the reality of these technologies into our daily lives. The work critiques the way that contemporary networked technologies, while enabling the digitally saturated culture of the 21st century, can also obscure and distance us from political and moral responsibility.
"We all live under the shadow of the drone, although most of us are lucky enough not to live under its direct fire. But the attitude they represent - of technology used for obscuration and violence; of the obfuscation of morality and culpability; of the illusion of omniscience and omnipotence; of the lesser value of other people's lives; of, frankly, endless war - should concern us all."
Under the Shadow of the Drone, was commissioned by Lighthouse, and produced in partnership with Brighton Festival.
The film of the install was directed by Brian McClave, and produced by Site-Eye Time-Lapse Films.