Theater of Drones

Martha Rosler

14 March 2013

(Public banner installation, LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, Charlottesville, Virginia) Banners: 1, 2, 4, 5,9 (213 x 152 cm) 3, 6, 7, 8,10 (381 x 152 cm)

Theater of Drones considers the consequences of drone warfare in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia, and the alarming development of drones for domestic surveillance and policing. This project, a suite of ten horizontal eye-level banners, was originally conceived in response to an invitation to participate in the 2013 Look3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia. Rosler was spurred to create this project because Charlottesville was the first city in the US to draft and pass model legislation banning the local use of drones and is also the home of antiwar, anti-drone activism.

The project presents information on drone strikes, responses of various publics, and the ever-increasing amount of research and development funding being poured into drones by the US and British governments. This immense technological push is suggested by an image strip, running along the bottom of several banners, picturing the myriad drone types and prototypes, from mosquito-sized surveillance drones to the huge war-fighting Predators and Reapers.

© Martha Rosler

Courtesy: Martha Rosler;  Galerie Nagel Draxler, Berlin