Tuesday, May 05, 2020


Heartbeats Gouache on paper 2020

This last week media outlets covered developments in the use of drones to help detect temperature and heart beat during the COVID19 pandemic. The drone is equipped with sensors that detect, collect and transmit the data. This technology may be used in Australia, and has been trialed or used overseas. Here is an ABC article with some of the details A 'pandemic drone' and other technology could help limit the spread of coronavirus and ease restrictions sooner. but at what cost? 

I am pleased to see the media ask But at what cost? In a recent post Walking The Dog In The Drone Age , also the title of a painting, I refer to an article by Dr. Michael Richardson   'Pandemic Drones': Useful for Enforcing Social Distancing, or for Creating a Police State? . He also asks questions about the cost of introducing technologies that may appear to be beneficial, but if normalised they may pose future threats associated with privacy, freedom, security and more.

In this post I have uploaded a few recent quick sketches that reflect upon temperature or heartbeat checking by drones equipped with sensors. I am interested in how the human body is imaged, how it is reduced to a site of detection, scanning. I wonder what other types of ailments, characteristics etc might also be detectable now or in the future. I wonder how the notion of detection will change how we view ourselves and others. Here, I note that detection is not vision. The machine cannot see, but it can scan, scope and detect. It cannot dream, imagine or be visionary, all human abilities that are considered as part of having vision.

Temperature Gouache on paper 2020

Drone Swarm Pencil on paper 2020

Drone Swarm depicts a collection of civilian drones working as a team ie: a drone swarm. The radiating lines depicts their surveillance signal arc. Mass checking of heartbeats, temperatures etc at for example a festival, sports event, a large city will likely require numbers of drones. This introduces the concept of drone swarming. This quick sketch draws upon my interest in exposing invisible aspects of contemporary technology - mainly their signals, and how signals create nets in the landscape. 

Detection pencil on paper 2020

These quick sketches may end up forming a whole painting or part of a painting. I've just got to let ideas sit before I launch into a new painting. Or rather, filter all the ideas that swamp my head! This time of isolation has meant that because I do not have normal daily distractions, my imagination is swimming with ideas.

* Please read my recent post regarding my painting Wingman. I've posted the painting below, but it would be great if you read the Wingman post too. Yes, there's Australia's Parliament House!
Today more news about the Royal Australian Air Force and Boeing collaboration to develop a drone that can act as a 'wingman' to other manned aircraft, and potentially other manned assets, has been released. I've added some links to my original post 26/4/2020.


Wingman Oil on linen 97 x 115 cm 2020

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