Photo Credit: Wix Stock Library
Drones aren’t just for STEM majors anymore. The art industry is another realm where drones have made a significant impact as artists are taking advantage of the proliferation of drones to create amazing artwork that’s unlike anything we’ve seen before. Let's take a peak into the art world to see how artists are interpreting drone technology. Drones are somewhat of a controversial topic in some spaces. Some people are concerned about the implications of drones becoming a staple technology in our society, while others are looking forward to advancing the possible applications of drone technology. Bard College, a liberal arts college in New York, has a Center for the Study of the Drone where they research unmanned systems in the military and the lives of civilians.
Select Images from Understanding the Drone Through Art
One way they’ve done this is by looking at drones through the lens of artists. Through a project called The Portals, curated multimedia collections on drone-related issues, they released Understanding the Drone Through Art. The collections feature pieces with different intentions, such as protesting military drone use and surveillance and promoting technology and drones as tools.
Video Credit: Creators and Barbican Centre
In another collaborative effort, musician John Cale and architect Liam Young worked together to produce Loop>>60Hz, an immersive live music performance. Essentially, Loop>>60Hz is an orchestra composed of drones. During the production of the show, the creators thought of the drones as characters on the stage. “If you have one drone up, it’s a mystery. If you have two drones up, it’s a love story,” says John Cale. Each drone is a character and is costumed according to a particular subculture. The other artists working on the project describe the drones as having their own unique sets of movements and quirks.
Photo Credit: LIAM YOUNG + JOHN CALE + FIELD.IO
Along with this project, Cale and Young also collaborated with digital artists FIELD to develop a digital experience with drones as the subject matter rather than the performers. City of Drones is a website that allows the user to explore a digital city “through the eyes of a drone” and was featured as part of the Loop>>60Hz experience.
Video Credit: Martin Sanchez
Some art is made with the purpose of being viewed overhead with a drone. For example, Martin Sanchez of ZEKEDRONE is a drone photographer and graphic designer who pilots a DJI Mavic 2 Pro, DJI Mavic Pro, and DJI Mavic Air. He refers to his drone art style as a visual performance under the moniker “visual drone art”. The premise of "visual drone art" is a person lies on the ground and engages in some type of performance. The interaction between the ground and the pose can only be viewed with a drone, so Sanchez uses his drones to photograph these moments to create artwork. For his work, he has garnered numerous accolades, including 1st place in the People category in the International Drone Photography contest hosted by National Geographic and Dronestagram.
Photo Credit: zekedrone.com
Diving into the world of Drone Art proves just how important technology is in the Arts. Artistic expression transforms along with our tools and since drones are the tools everyone wants to get there hands on, we can look forward to seeing more creativity in their artistic applications.
I am a writer and an artist based in Georgia. Specializing in illustration, graphic design, and video art, I love to explore the new ways technology intersects with art. I think drones have done amazing things for photography and video art, making what would previously be costly and difficult more accessible. As a complete novice, it was only recently that I saw what independent artists could do with their drones, and I continue to be impressed by the sights that drones are able to explore and the images they can capture. Instagram: @tyesha.ferron