Drones collect data for security agencies and researchers, farmers employ them to combat pests, and many private people use them as toys. No longer do drones merely serve military purposes. Just in 2017 alone, some 400,000 of these remote-controlled, unmanned flying objects buzzed through German airspace. The Zeppelin Museum, which holds the world’s largest collection on the history of aircraft construction, has focused on drone technology in the exhibition “Game of Drones”, developed in cooperation with the Berlin architectural office chezweitz. To this end, it collected works by artists who have explored the topic of drones and their hybrid uses for years, and then tied these to the long history of unmanned flight and exposed the potentials and risks of this technology. The exhibition has addressed the issues of surveillance and counter-surveillance, the mystification of technology and strategies of resistance. Martha Rosler’s piece, for instance, reflects on how drones are changing our understanding of the private sphere, while James Bridle makes hidden technology visible by tracing out its contours to scale in public space. Adam Harvey, on the other hand, suggests concrete approaches for avoiding surveillance; together with the designer Johanna Bloomfield, he has developed clothing that is undetectable to drones’ infrared cameras. The exhibition has been accompanied by an extensive programme which examined the topic from various perspectives, e.g. public workshops, an academic conference, lectures and a science slam.
Curators: Jürgen Bleibler, Ina Neddermeyer
Artists: Ignacio Acosta (CL), Frédérick A. Belzile (CA), James Bridle (GB), Omer Fast (IL), Agi Haines (GB), Adam Harvey (US), Lawrence Lek, Martha Rosler (US), Raphaela Vogel and others