Tuesday, June 09, 2020

DRONE SWARMS: ONLINE EXHIBITION

Swarm Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2020



DRONE SWARMING TECHNOLOGY
Drone swarming technology is accelerating, with a number of countries developing swarming capabilities - UK, USA, China, Turkey, Israel, Australia and others.

A drone swarm is a group of multiple drones, also called robotic systems. Swarms of robots can be land, sea or sky based. I am particularly interested in airborne drone swarms.

A drone swarm operates through collective functionality, operating as a unit and enabled by wireless signal connections between the drones. An airborne drone swarm effectively becomes a flying signal-net that enables some autonomous functions by reducing reliance, during a mission, on external signalling. A drone swarm can also become the weapon, deployed as a kamakazi swarm upon target identification. Drone swarming stealth capabilities, reduced vulnerability to electronic warfare [eg: jamming and hacking], autonomous functionality, and resilience to attack [if one drone is ‘taken out’, the swarm re-calibrates and continues on its mission] are attractive capabilities for military forces, and potentially also for security and policing activities. Clearly, this technology would also have appealing applications for state and non-state aberrant actors. 

SIGNALS
In many of my paintings I expose signals by painting lines between drones and auxiliary infrastructure, such as ground control stations, other airborne assets and satellites. I also expose signals by painting lines that indicate a drone’s surveillance arc, signals the feed data into the robotic system. This data can assist the drone swarm with functions such geo-locating and target identification, at the same time as building upon existing data to augment functionality.

SWARM
In Swarm I have painted a swarm of domestic drones and indications of their surveillance arcs. I have chosen domestic drones to alert to the potential militarisation of civilian technologies. That non-state groups, for example, in the Middle East have conscripted and modified civilian drones for nefarious purposes is a great concern. I'll let you extrapolate!

I have painted the drones white. This gives the impression of some kind of fake cloud. I am interested in the way technology occupies landscape. Here, also, the visualising of signals exposes the way normally invisible signals occupy landscape and environment. Without signals the hardware would simply be an object.


ONLINE EXHIBITION
Over the last five years I have created a number of paintings that address drone swarming technology. This online exhibition includes seven paintings.


Small Selection of Articles of Interest: 
I recommend you also do your own searching.
Swarming Drones: The Future of Warfare AFR by James Brown September 2019


 Drone Show Oil on linen 122 x 152 cm 2020


 Swarm Surveillance Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


Drone Clouds Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


 Droned Landscape Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


Drone Spiral Gouache on paper 30 x 42 cm 2016


 Drone Spiral 2 oil on linen 120 x 160 2018




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