DRONE AVIARY, 2015
DRONE AVIARY, 2015
The Drone Aviary - an R&D project from The Superflux Lab - is an investigation of the social, political and cultural potential of drone technology as it enters civil space. Through a series of ongoing installations, films and publications, the project aims to give a glimpse into a near-future city with ‘intelligent’ semi autonomous, networked, flying machines.
The installation in STUK includes a film introducing a family of five drones and an accompanying narrated editorial by Warren Ellis. The film hints at a world where the ‘network’ begins to gain physical autonomy, moving through and making decisions about the world, influencing our lives in often opaque yet profound ways. A speculative map highlights where physical and digital infrastructures merge as our cities become the natural habitat for 'smart' technologies. Each of the five drones presented in the film is designed to be symbolic of the convergence of wider social and technological trends with specific tasks and functions that are gaining popularity amongst drone enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. From Madison, the flying billboard, to Newsbreaker, the media drone; Nightwatchman, the surveillance drone; Routehawk, the traffic management assistant and finally Flycam, the Instadrone – each of them play into a field of commercial drones either already in use or in full preparation in the industry. With the European Commission working towards a basic regulatory framework for the civil use of drones by early 2016, these near future scenarios are becoming more and more plausible, but are they desirable?
Superflux is an Anglo-Indian design collective directed by Anab Jain and Jon Ardern, operating from London. In their practice, they research the ways in which emerging technologies interface with the environment and everyday life. The consultancy is client-facing, offering bespoke services, while the lab is a research space where new ideas are developed and tested. Both Anab Jain and Jon Ardern graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Interaction Design.