<em>Drone 8</em>

Björn Schülke
Drone 8, 2014
Fiberglass, aluminum, wood, mirrors, paint, motors, sensors, monitor, camera, custom electronics
177 x 62 x 47.2 in / 450 x 160 x 120 cm
288 in / 580 cm, diameter

Part of Schülke’s Drone series, Drone #8 subverts the common idea of surveillance, turning the machine into a technological parasite that performs its own control parody. Extending from this sculpture’s insect-like body is an attached camera arm, which advances according to the detected movements of the audience. The object’s sleek surface finish suggests militaristic perfection and homogeneity, perhaps a disembodied fighter aircraft – and its exposed wires and screen-display pose a constant threat of inspection. Targeting the viewer, Drone #8 absurdly “shoots”, performing the function of automated warcraft. Although the data in this system is not collected and stored, the ‘threat’ of surveillance remains, provoking questions of privacy, spectatorship and authorship.

The psychology behind this work is carefully calculated. The piece is equipped with motion sensors, a couple of mirrors, live cameras and a video screen. As an object, it makes futile attempts to discover the surroundings, and is stuck in a state of self-absorption. Imagery caught on camera is displayed on a video screen, when not obscured by the movement of mirrored reflections. As a whole environment, the sculpture spins slowly overhead, which generates fluctuating shadows beneath it.


Installation view at Kunstverein Neuhausen, Germany. 2014, “Szenarien des Umheimlichen”



Installation view at The Boghossian Foundation, Villa Empain, Center for Art, Belgium. 2015, “From Heaven to Hell. Flying Carpets and Drones”

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