Saturday, December 22, 2018


Droned 21st Century Vision oil on linen 40 x 50 cm 2018

The term 'drone vision' is different to 'droned vision'. 'Drone vision' ascribes vision capabilities to a drone, a machine. This is something I have previously critiqued.* The latter, 'droned vision', is about how human vision is changed as a result of ubiquitous images viewed on screens, for example, camera screens, mobile phones and computers. The flattening of an image, the pixellation of an image, the cross-haired focussing to generate and view an image, all contribute to 'droned vision'. The simulation of perspective is a trickery that implodes both literal and metaphoric perspective. The latter should be the ability to cast critical eyes and intellect to penetrate the digital data that makes up 21st century imagery. I fear this has been eroded. 

In Droned 21st Century Vision the red overlay presents a flattened perspective, the orienting lines mimicking surveillance and targeting co-ordinates. The grid of squares, that seemingly continue beyond the painting, establish zones of reference, a kind of pixellation of space that enables extraction of data. Here I expose the way new and invisible topographies are imposed on the landscape. These new topographies include invisible signals that ricochet around the world and into space, from node to node. Signals enable increasing surveillance as they wrap the planet in nets that we cannot see, but hold us hostage.

Are the cross-hairs those of a camera viewing screen or do they represent a weapon? The dual-use nature of contemporary technology, however, blurs the separation between civilian/domestic and militarised use and intention. The hostage situation becomes clearer! The very recent deliberate disruption of Gatwick airport by civilian drones demonstrates that no contemporary technology can claim to be neutral. 

In Droned 21st Century Vision I have placed two trees-of-life, one pale night-vision green and the other red, within the flattened plane of gridded squares. Another tree-of-life, a white one, is positioned on a hillside in the background landscape. This tree reveals the insidious trickery of droned perspective. It represents a resistance to the norming of droned vision. It stands as a beacon, both as a warning and a guiding light. It retrieves real landscape and the depth it provides - perspective - from the 21st century simulation.

* One example post is The Drone: Do Not Embody

On a more happy note. I wish all my readers a very Merry Christmas, and a happy 2019.


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