Friday, March 31, 2017

ANTHROPOCENE

Anthropocene Gouache and watercolour on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017


In Queensland, Australia, where I live, we have just experienced Cyclone Debbie. Luckily I live south of where the eye of the storm hit, but this cyclone was so massive that it has affected the entire Queensland coastline. Take a look at images taken from the International Space Station HERE

So, with Cyclone Debbie in mind, my new painting Anthopocene 'speaks' to what seems to be an escalation in natural disasters not only in frequency, but in size and ferocity over the last few decades. The term Anthropocene has entered our lexicon to describe a new geologic era, one where human activities have influenced atmospheric, geologic, biospheric and hydrolic systems on Earth. You can read more about the Anthropocene on various websites including Anthropocene   and Smithsonian . com

ANTHROPOCENE
I started Anthropocene well before Cyclone Debbie threatened. Why? Because, things like drought, mass forced migration of people, floods, coral bleaching and firestorms intersect with increasing surveillance, political tensions, social schisms, terrorism and war. These in turn intersect with increasing developments in technology, emerging new technologies, exploration of space and neo-liberal hijacking of seemingly everything in order to monetise it. All sounds rather dire really!

In Anthropocene I take a cosmic view of human activity! There's fire, coral bleaching, flooding rains, drought, mass forced migration/exodus - and - cross-hair targets, a weaponised Reaper drone and space based assets [GPS and communications satellites] representing their dual-use civilian/military status. Then, there are some fervent red trees - trees-of-life, their branches turned inwards as if creating an airway where their filaments-leaves can filter invasive forces - a promising breathing space. Even the radiating surveillance rays of an obscured reconnaissance force cannot infiltrate the breathing space. 

Perhaps life has other plans for us? 


NEWS

My painting The Tree of Life Sends its Energy Underground is the front cover of the next Australian Women's Book Review Please click on their website where you can see the image, plus read my artist's statement. And, you can order the review! 

In February an interview Portfolio: Dronescapes by Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox I did with Maggie Barnett from the Centre for the Study of the Drone, Bard College, New York was published on the Centre's fabulously informative website

Cheers,
Kathryn
www.kathrynbrimblecombe-fox

Saturday, March 25, 2017

SOMEWHERE

Somewhere Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017


Somewhere may be on Earth, but then again it may not. 

It could, however, be evidence of life on another planet, an exo-planet enticing human beings with promises for life after Earth - or - post-Earth as I like to call it. 

It could be a simulated landscape experienced via virtual reality. The lively colours a distraction from the erosion of our earthly home? Imagine sitting inside your driverless car, windows blackened so you can enjoy your virtual landscape of choice! Looking out the window, what a novelty!

Or, maybe it's a remnant of Earth flung into the universe upon the fiery demise of the sun and the solar system?

SCIENTISTS' EXCITEMENT
Over the last few days I have attended some fascinating events at the second World Science Festival held in Brisbane. I've heard some very excited scientists talking about the future of autonomous vehicles of all kinds, new ways of urban living, robotic companions for the very young and very old, 'fail-safe' artificially intelligent systems and more. The scientists' excitement is infectious. Their expertise and imaginations are to be admired - indeed many scientists seem more imaginative than artists! Somewhere could be a future landscape where the downward emanating rays are signals from benign interconnected systems designed to assist society in a variety of ways [protected from hijacking/hacking by malevolent forces, of course]. The trees may indicate a preserved/restored natural environment, the small crosses could be autonomous vehicle parking and recharging hubs, The upwardly trailing string of variously sized dots could be a holiday route to the Moon! Whether its our Moon or not, is unknown.

CONTESTED FORCES
And, here's another possibility, one where contested forces battle. Regular readers will guess that the trees are my representations of the tree-of-life. As they branch upwards, the downward emanating rays could be the scoping signals of obscured airborne surveillance drones, possibly armed? There are so many though! The small crosses may be target points or the cross-hair markings of unmanned sniper drones? Leaves and small dots cascade across the landscape. What do they 'know'? Are they seeding new life for a safer future - ready to regrow and send up new shoots when the time is right? Is the upwardly trailing constellation of coloured dots and circles a sign of escape or seepage - like blood loss? 

I 'see' Somewhere not as one landscape, but many. Each one presenting lots of questions. I also think there's something about it being quite beautiful. 


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You might be interested in previous posts:

and


Cheers,
Kathryn

P.S. I also attended a robot programming workshop at the Queensland University of technology [QUT] that was part of the World Science Festival. My team of three programmed our robot to 'draw' a tree. I have a bit of an issue with describing what the robot did as 'draw', but I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop. I am working through some thoughts and will probably write about them at some stage.






Saturday, March 18, 2017

STAR BLOOD

Star Blood Gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017



The Cosmos is crying.

Tears of star blood.


_______________________________________________________________

Are you below or above the tears?



For clues 

and 



Cheers,
Kathryn

Friday, March 10, 2017

ANOMALY DETECTION

Anomaly Detection Gouache and watercolour on paper 56 x 76 cm 2017


The term anomaly detection is a technical one. It is an automatic system for detecting unusual behaviour, patterns or occurrences in, for example, live or stored data, such as film footage. Anomaly detection can allow preemptive actions. Regarding military drones the identification of anomalous behaviour, for example multiple vehicles moving at speed from different directions towards one destination, can trigger an alert for increased surveillance and readiness for potential attack. A drone's wide area surveillance capabilities mean expansive areas can be surveilled, and sophisticated detection and recognition algorithms are employed as another layer of surveillance monitoring. In civilian arenas anomaly detection systems are useful for a variety of monitoring requirements that range from security to environmental protections and more.

In Anomaly Detection I have turned drone surveillance on its head. Here, I have painted the drones as if pixelated, as if a detection and recognition algorithm has detected the anomalous behaviour of three armed drones converging on the tree-of-life hovering at the center of the image. The viewer of the painting could be monitoring the drones from the ground, looking up - or - from the sky/space looking down. In this way the viewer becomes aware of the power of perspective, even in imagination. 

COSMIC PERSPECTIVE
Cosmic perspectives implore us to seek distance, both close and far, as a way to examine ourselves and the planet. From vast distances it becomes obvious that planet Earth, despite discoveries of possible habitable exo-planets, is our only home for the foreseeable [and beyond] future. We need to look after the planet and ourselves. By exploring perspective and engaging with multiple perspectives maybe we'll discover more anomalies that highlight risk in ways that trigger precautionary, preemptive, restorative and pro-actionary activities?

I am really pleased with this painting - I actually think it is quite beautiful - in a way that achingly screams for the tree-of-life's survival in the face of potential destruction.



* Please check out the recent interview Portfolio: Dronescapes by Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox with Maggie Barnett from The Centre for the Study of the Drone, Bard College, New York.

Sunday, March 05, 2017

BODIES OF WORK


   
Screen shot from the Center for the Study of the Drone, Bard College, new York  interview with me about my dronescapes. You can read the entire interview HERE  


I am very excited about the interview the Center for the Study of the Drone conducted with me. The Centre is “an interdisciplinary research institution that examines the novel and complex opportunities and challenges presented by unmanned systems technologies in both the military and civilian sphere”. 



BODY OF WORK


 
 
 

Top: Through the Mists of Time                Alternative Ways of Being 
Middle: Between Existences          Persistent Surveillance and Strike
Bottom: Swarm Surveillance                          Across Time and Space


Not all my recent paintings feature the figure of the drone. However, some feature a drone's surveillance features, such as signals. Others feature the tree-of-life in cosmic landscapes. Whilst individual paintings can stand alone, a body of work gives space for paintings to play off each other. By playing off each other certain aspects of imagery take on 'loaded' meanings that may not be otherwise evident.

It is often interesting to look at much earlier work to place it with recent work. I don't know about you, but with the figure of the drone and its capabilities in mind the paintings below take on an urgent reminder of our need to look after ourselves and the planet.



 Elemental 2009

Halo 2009



Cheers,
Kathryn