Sure, you've heard about military drones or UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles). You may have been warned by a street poster, or maybe you're worried about how all that surveillance footage will get analyzed. But can you tell an MQ-1 Predator from an RQ-4 Global Hawk? Artist James Bridle, known for his work in the "new aesthetic" movement, put together a mobile kit complete with three models of military drones and tiny human figures for scale. Previously, Bridle built Dronestagram, which posted satellite images charting where US drone strikes had happened. He's called Dronestagram a way to make the often ignored places where the US uses drones "a little bit more visible," and UAV Identification Kit 001 applies the same logic to the drones themselves.
Bridle explains that his kit is meant to evoke military recognition models used by the army or interested civilians to memorize different kinds of planes or tanks. Using it to identify drones instead makes them visible at a time when "actual aircraft become ever harder to perceive. Based at remote airfields in conflict zones, and largely operating in other zones inaccessible to ground troops or journalists, the only direct witnesses to their activities are those on the ground beneath them, disconnected from those who pilot them, those who issue their orders, and those in whose name they are directed." He created the kit while working as an artist in residence at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
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