Interactive Art


Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

James Bridle (GB)


Cyberarts 2013 - International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica 2013

Dronestagram uses Instagram and other social media to share images of the landscape of the drone wars: illegal CIA strikes by unmanned aircraft in the remote regions of Pakistan and Yemen. These landscapes, unlike the battlefields of more conventional wars, are rarely seen or reported from. 

The political and practical possibilities of drone strikes are the consequence of invisible, distancing technologies and a technologically disengaged media and society. Foreign wars and foreign bodies have always counted for less, but the technology that was supposed to bring us closer together is used to obscure and obfuscate. We use military technologies such as GPS and Kinect for work and play; they continue to be used militarily to maim and kill, ever further away and ever less visibly. Yet at the same time we are attempting to build a 1:1 map of the world through satellite and surveillance technologies, which allows us to see these landscapes should we choose to go there. These technologies are not just for “organizing” information, they are also for revealing it, for telling us something new about the world around us, rendering it more clearly.

History, like space, is co-produced by us and our technologies: those technologies include satellite mapping, social photo sharing from handheld devices, and fleets of flying death robots. We should engage with them at every level. These are still just images of foreign landscapes; yet we have got better at immediacy and intimacy online: perhaps we can be better at empathy too.