Friday, January 19, 2024


AI Ghosts Gouache on paper 56 x 75 cm 2024

This painting was inspired by thinking about AI generated avatars, replicas, proxies, simulations and fakes. I've tried to right more, but like our looping - if not loopy - world - I kept on going in circles. And, endless looping is not helpful, so I broke it!

It's now up to you to ask the questions! Indeed, the painted binary code at the bottom of the painting 'instructs' multiple question marks (?). 

Cheers, Kathryn

Sunday, January 14, 2024


Why War? Gouache on paper 56 x76 cm 2024

Why War? is a question-painting or a painting-question. 

I have just finished my creative practice-lead PhD*. My research focused on increasing military interest in the electromagnetic spectrum (EMS), as an enabler of technology, a type of weapon, a manoeuvre space, and a domain. In the contemporary era, geographically-based kinetic warfare and new modes of warfare, such as, information, remote operations, electronic, and electromagnetic warfare, rely upon signalic connectivity and interconnectivity for operability and interoperability of systems and devices. War now exceeds geography, extending its operational apparatus and outcomes across the world, and from land to orbiting satellites. It is vitally important, though, to remember that in active kinetic war zones, the horror of war remains physically bloody and destructive.

Planetary war
In the age of algorithms, light-speed signalic connectivity, increasingly autonomous systems, airborne drones, and generative AI, Why War? presents contemporary war as planetary and space-based. Military technological reliance on the EMS martialises the environment from Earth to orbiting satellites. Significantly, this same techno-environment is also crucial for civilian technological operations. 

In the painting the Earth is formed by red dots and painted binary code 'instructing' a ? (question mark). This white code is cross-hatched with lines - perhaps revelations of signals ricocheting around the world? The white-dotted area surrounding the 'planet' is the Earth-to-orbiting-satellite environment. This environment is punctuated with painted binary code 'instructing' the word WAR. The zeros and ones encompass the planet, at the same time as occupying the space between land and orbiting satellites.

The red and white dots could be interpreted as photons, the elemental particles that make up electromagnetic frequencies. All EMS frequencies consist of photons travelling at the speed-of-light in wave patterns. The light spectrum is the only frequency visible to the unaided human eye. But, the dots may not be photons - maybe they are bullet holes, bomb sites, smart-device hacks, social media disinformation dissemination? The dark shapes that surround the 'Earth' could be read as debris, or perhaps stealth space-craft, or maybe visual metaphors for danger? These shapes also appear in a few previous paintings  - THE CLOUD IS NOT A CLOUD, Force MultiplicationGhost Sky, and Ghost Shadows.

Cosmological perspective
The cosmological perspective taken in Why War? is an example of my imaginational metaveillance* approach and practice. Without the aid of augmenting devices I fly in imagination, and ask you, the viewer, to fly too. As you fly way beyond Earth, what do you see? Imaginational metaveillance is a play with perspective - literal, imagined and metaphoric.

Maybe I have painted a photon, rather than the Earth? 

Questions are important!

*You can access my PhD thesis: 
Drones, Signals, and the techno-Colonisation of Landscape
at Curtin's espace 
My thesis includes a chapter on imaginational metaveillance. 



Friday, January 05, 2024


 The Cloud is Not a Cloud gouache on paper 56 x 76 cm 2024

The Cloud - Swarm?
With The Cloud is Not a Cloud I wanted to pose questions about the contemporary 'Cloud' as a weaponisable and weaponised system. I was thinking about swarming technology, pondering whether the techno-Cloud, enabling complex arrays of services and capabilities, could be described as a dexterous swarm with both benign and malign latencies. However, is the techno-Cloud the swarm or the swarm enabler? Or maybe its a swarm that can spawn more swarms? The proliferation of misinformation, disinformation and fake news/images across social media is an example of this conception of swarming. 

While the techno-Cloud is underpinned by bricks and mortar, for example, buildings housing massive computer infrastructure, relay nodes dotted across the landscape and space, and other tangible devices, I am particularly interested in the invisible infrastructure. Here, I am referring to signals that ensure connectivity, interconnectivity and interoperability of devices and systems. 

Signals carrying codified data and instructions are visualised in The Cloud is Not a Cloud as lines connecting ambiguous looking shapes. Their multiple sharp edges could indicate a not-so-friendly environment, a protective stance, tactical readiness or strategic preparedness. Could The Cloud is Not a Cloud be a visualisation of military preparedness, geopolitical alignments, force posturing? Are we projecting onto the techno-Cloud fears of geo-political instability, and the type of war that needs no physical invasion? 

Red and White
I have used red and white to indicate potentialities, such as, attack, vulnerability, disguise, stealth, blood. I have deliberately implied that the colours could oscillate or merge, depending on politics, technological resilience, or non-resilience. Like many of my paintings, The Cloud is Not a Cloud can be viewed from multiple perspectives - from above, as if you are flying over the sea; from below, as if you are peering through 'clouds' to a blue sky; in front of or behind, as if you are about to walk into a spider's web...

As always, there's a lot more to think about. But, I will leave it to you now...


Previous Posts of Interest.
The Cloud is Not a Cloud visually references some other recent paintings where I have painted odd patterns that echo the shapes of airborne drones, munitions, debris. You can see these paintings on these blog links Force MultiplicationGhost Sky, and Ghost Shadows.

Since 2015 I have painted many paintings that refer to the techno-Cloud. You can search my BLOG by typing the word 'cloud' in the top left box above Art @ Kathryn Brimblecombe-Fox or in the 'Search this Blog' box on the right of the post.


I am very happy to report that I am now a Dr. 
My PhD was conferred by Curtin University, Western Australia on the 1st December. 

You can access my PhD thesis: 
Drones, Signals, and the techno-Colonisation of Landscape
at Curtin's espace