Wednesday, July 03, 2019

OCCUPIED LANDSCAPES: EVIDENCE OF DRONES

Beware, Whispers the Wind Oil on linen 61 x 97 cm 2019






OCCUPIED LANDSCAPES: EVIDENCE OF DRONES


POP Gallery, 381 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. 
POP Gallery is one of the Queensland College of Art (QCA), Griffith University, galleries. 


27 August - 14 September 
10 am - 4 pm Daily




L to R: Mission Capable Landscape and Nowhere to Hide



A PANEL DISCUSSION happened on Saturday 31 August from 3.30 pm - 5 pmPanel Members:
  • Dr. Samid Suliman, Lecturer in Migration and Security, Griffith University. 
  • Federica Caso and Cormac Opdebeeck Wilson, both from the School of Political Science and International Studies, the University of Queensland. 
  • Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox.


L to R: Occupied Landscape, False Lawn, Swarm Clouds Brewing


 Installation image at Occupied Landscapes: Evidence of Drones



LINKS


*You can view more paintings on my website HERE

* Please read the exhibition essay by Federica Caso on my website HERE


AND - PODCAST

* I was interviewed about my paintings and research by the lead researcher, Dr. Beryl Pong, of the Aesthetics of Drone Warfare project, University of Sheffield, UK.This project is funded by a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award for 2019-2020. Please listen to the Podcast - it's only 30 minutes.



 Mission Capable Landscape oil on linen 72 x 137 cm 2018


OCCUPIED LANDSCAPES: EVIDENCE OF DRONES is my first solo show of new work since 2015. The paintings in the exhibition reflect long-term interests in landscape, symbols [such as the tree-of-life], and existential risk posed by emerging technologies.

The paintings in the exhibition are informed by research into accelerating developments in militarised and militarise-able technology - airborne drones, persistent surveillance and increasingly autonomous systems. This research was conducted as part of my Master of Philosophy degree, completed in 2017 at the University of Queensland. Ongoing research continues to inform my work.

I am interested in how landscape is mediated by militarised and militarise-able technologies. I am particularly interested in examining the signals that enable the operation and functioning of militarised technologies. 


Anomaly Detection Gouache on paper 56 x 75 cm 2016
  Please take a look at Anomaly Detection No 2 also 




Please browse through my
BLOG to see more paintings and to read more about my practice. 


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EXHIBITION ARTIST'S STATEMENT 

OCCUPIED LANDSCAPES: EVIDENCE OF DRONES


Occupied Landscapes: Evidence of Drones is an exhibition that poses questions about the mediation of landscape in the age of the drone, the era of persistent surveillance and the epoch of increasingly autonomous systems. The paintings in the exhibition are informed by my long-term interests in landscape, age-old symbols and existential risk posed by emerging technologies. My work is also informed by research into accelerating developments in contemporary militarised technology. This research was undertaken as a part of my Master of Philosophy [M.Phil], completed in 2017 at the University of Queensland.

In my paintings I invite viewers to fly, in imagination, around, above and below airborne drones that lurk in cosmic skies. As we fly, surveillance is returned to the human being as a kind of metaveillance. In other words we not only monitor the drones, we also observe what they are monitoring. This kind of observation reveals how drones, and their support infrastructure, intrude into the landscape in ways that occupy it. This occupation becomes a stealthy techno-colonisation of landscape and environment when enabling signals, ricocheting from land, into the sky and space, are exposed. By making visible the nets of invisible signals that operatively enable militarised and militarise-able technology I expose how new kinds of topographies are mapped onto landscape. However, rather than a surface occupation, it is a volumetric occupation from land into space. Imposed new signal topographies mediate human activity and movement through the signal-enabled inter-connectivity of our personal devices, computers, credit cards, mobile phones, GPS locators and more. Without signals these devices are largely inert.

In extreme cases interconnectivity enables the identification and targeting of people by systems increasingly involved in a conflation of military, security and policing activities. Here, the mediation of human activity and movement is clear. However, the ability to track and monitor general populations is an insidious kind of hostage situation that aides and abets the techno-colonisation. We are all hostages?

In my paintings depicting drones, or indications of their presence, I rarely include human figures, preferring not to attempt to tell the stories of others. However, in many of my paintings I include the age-old transcultural/religious tree-of-life as a symbol of all of humanity and life. The tree is often under threat from drones or it stands as a beacon of hope, Depending on your perspective, and perhaps where you choose to fly in imagination, humanity could be at risk of civilisation collapse and species demise, or it could harbour clues for a rich and vibrant future.


There is a lot more to think about – but, I will leave that up to you now. I hope you find Occupied Landscapes: Evidence of Drones stimulating, and therefore enjoyable. 


Drone Spiral (2) oil on linen 120 x 160 cm 2018



Cheers,
Kathryn

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