Reclaimed speakers, custom electronics, metal, fabric, magnets, projectors.
DRONE draws on research into the physical dynamics of insect flight and behaviour to question current applications in micro-robotic futures. Applied research in micro-robotics advances the intent to supplement diminishing bee populations with artificial pollinators and produce covert surveillance drones. The impact of these technologies on daily life raises questions both for the present and the future. Does the threat to sustainable ecosystems motivate people to action? Is every proposed solution one that will benefit future generations of both humans and non-humans? How will the application of this research to advances in micro-robotic surveillance technology alter the perception of privacy and influence the autonomy of individuals? DRONE is part of a body of artistic work that draws upon research in the sensory and communication behaviour of companion creatures in order to explore the affective influence of technological applications.
The exploration of a multi-sensorial method of information exchange is informed by an approach to the integration of video projection and electronic sound generation. The video is produced from appropriated segments of research documentation that have been made publicly available by the Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute and The Harvard Microrobotics Lab. The images of bees in flight are captured as subjects of scientific experiments. These images are transitioned and eventually replaced by their robotic counterparts. The projected light of the video, in collaboration with participants movements, produce an immersive electronically generated soundscape that is tuned to frequencies specific to the drone of bee flight and communication behaviours.