Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - drones - have become an everyday feature of contemporary military activity, replacing humans in reconnaissance flights, small-scale combat missions and covert operations. Thousands of UAVs are operated by the US.
George Barberís The Freestone Drone is a drone that can talk and develops a conscience. The drone surveys cityscapes, encounters individuals and in flight becomes aware of its own utility and destiny. Drone operators routinely study the washing to learn about their targets - it is foretold that the Freestone Drone is to die entangled in a clothes line. The Freestone Drone is a poet.
The video combines found and made footage to produce an uneasy, seductive montage, anchored on the drone's private thoughts. Barber brings together war, love, life, death, and sends the drone over not only Waziristan, but also to New York and a London suburb. The drone then travels through time, projecting images of the past and possible futures.
In the legacy of Godard and Marker, The Freestone Drone proposes the meeting place of poetry and philosophy as a site to consider contemporary ethical and political concerns. Ultimately, Barber's work underlines the fact that technologies, and in particular modes of warfare, are symptomatic of the way we understand ourselves at our moment in history. Much now done in our name with drones is at odds with our democratic traditions.
George Barber will also show 'THE VERY VERY END' which is a companion piece to the above and 'REALITY CHECK'.
George Barber courtesy of waterside contemporary http://www.waterside-contemporary.com