Food for though
The New Inquiry Senior Editor Malcolm Harris recently conducted a fascinating interview with artist/director Alex Rivera (of Sleep Dealer fame) in which Rivera discussed his ongoing research into drones and disembodied labour. The exchange between the two is light years ahead of most of the discourse on drones that is occurring within creative technologist circles at the moment and really worth checking out.According to Rivera, the allure of drones is that they perfectly symbolize “the transnational/telepresent world we inhabit.”
New Inquiry Senior Editor Malcolm Harris talked with artist Alex Rivera. The writer-director of the 2008 sci-film Sleep Dealer, Rivera has been working with drones since the 1990s, when he piloted a small quad-copter called the Low Drone back and forth over the Mexican-American border.
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are nothing new. According to Peter Singer,robot technology can be traced back to the 18th century, when Frenchartist and inventor Jacques de Vaucanson invented a mechanical duck capable of eating, drinking, preening, and defecating on its own. Further strides were made during the First World War and Second World War with the invention of remote-controlled land torpedoes and cruise missiles.
Researchers from RMIT in Melbourne, Australia have developed a flying running companion called Joggobot. The system uses the built-in camera on a commercially-available Parrot AR Drone quadrocopter to track the position of a jogger, and fly a few feet out in front. While the current version has some serious limitations, there is huge potential for the development of a fully interactive training partner or coach in the very near future.
I have read a few blogs that discuss how law enforcement will abuse the use of drones. I believe that law enforcement should not be the concern but rouge citizens, armed with a new flying predators will be the biggest land threat in the emerging digital world.