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“Drone Wedding”: Art Exhibit Hopes to Provoke Discussions on Surveillance

In Archive, Canada, Drones, Surveillance on September 23, 2014 at 4:18 PM



Mechanized apparatuses record millions of images every day, documenting people’s lives — often without their awareness or permission. Our present age of drone reconnaissance and warfare, in particular, has emerged in concert with a state of pervasive surveillance in societies worldwide. In their newly-commissioned video Drone Wedding, artist collective Public Studio explores the perceptual implications of the automated imagery generated by drone technology.

On July 1, 2013, Public Studio recorded a wedding in Toronto, by means of a drone and four surveillance cameras. The artists then compiled the collected footage into an eight-channel video. Randomized image selection and remote overhead footage imbue the scenes with tension, transforming a celebration into a suspicious activity. The use of high-tech image capture evokes the military-industrial complex, in which drones have become ubiquitous devices for violent interventions, while also highlighting drone imagery’s embedded place in our visual lexicon.

Drone Wedding reflects the Public Studio’s ongoing interest in the way sophisticated recording devices can generate instability, uncertainty, and a sense of immediate danger.

Tamira Sawatzky and Elle Flanders from Public Studio discuss their “Drone Wedding” art exhibit, which is on display at Ryerson Image Centre from September 17-December 19.

Related Link: Our Drone Future (VIDEO)

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