Drone Art

Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences announces the D.C. Art Science Evening Rendezvous (DASER), a monthly discussion forum on art science projects in the national capital region and beyond. Next month, DASER explores the topic of drones. The event is on Thursday, November 14 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) in Room 100 of the Keck Center, 500 Fifth St., N.W. Reservations and photo IDs are required. To make a reservation, visithttps://nov14daser.eventbrite.com/

For those unable to attend, the event will be viewable via live webcast beginning at 5:30p.m. EST. To access the live webcast, visit http://www.cpnas.org/events/webcast-information-instructions.html

Join the live Twitter discussion by following @CPNAS and the hash tag #DASER.
Join the DASER Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/218532914912236/

Opening Remarks:

Niels Von Tomme, Visiting Curator, Center for Art, Design and Visual Culture, University of Maryland, Baltimore County


Missy Cummings, Associate Professor, Aeronautics and Astronautics and Engineering Systems; Director, Humans and Automation Laboratory Human-Systems Engineering Track, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Marko Peljhan, Artist and Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies: Art, Science, Technology, Digital Media and Space Art, Department of Art, University of California, Santa Barbara

Peter Singer, Director, Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, The Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.

DASER is co-sponsored by Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences (CPNAS) and Leonardo, the International Society for the Arts, Sciences, and Technology. DASER fosters community and discussion around the intersection of art and science. The thoughts and opinions expressed in the DASER events are those of the panelists and speakers and do not necessarily reflect the positions neither of the National Academy of Sciences nor of Leonardo.

Alana Quinn
Senior Program Associate
Cultural Programs (CPNAS)
National Academy of Sciences
500 Fifth St., N.W., NAS 121
Washington, D.C. 20001
Telephone: (202) 334-2415
Fax: (202) 334-1690
Email: aquinn@nas.edu<mailto:aquinn@nas.edu>


  1. Ok so this post on drone art triggered a huge number of visitors to my blog
    but why did no one leave a comment ? because we cant figure out what they dont know ? or that they are reading this as we type

  2. Im not afraid of drone art. The job of art is precisely to comment on current problematic affairs so Leonardo is right to bring attention ofartists to this current affair.

    • derrick- it seems to me that we are at a tipping point in the surveillance society – that is going to procoke deep cultural change-not just in our concepts of privacy but of community. Artists need to be much more involved in this area. roger

  3. sean annick

    ok so the drone art discussion has expanded to a more
    general discussion of how art exploits fear and shame

    i guess i want to insist that drone art is indicative of
    a tipping point in a large practice of artists in surveillance
    art- some of marko peljham’s projects certaibly connect to this

    but just to emphasise some of the new developments”

    a) the development of ” persistent surveillance” systems
    ( see for instance the US military handbooks such as http://publicintelligence.net/usjfcom-persistent-surveillance/ )
    which now are seeking to “predict and prevent bad actions by people”- see IEE spectrum article
    on Rules for the Digital Panopticon http://spectrum.ieee.org/computing/software/rules-for-the-digital-panopticon
    persisent suverveillance systems with built in anticipatory systems are now a booming business

    b) The emergence of the social phenomenon of data-sexuality see
    for instance IEEE spectrum article on the phenomenon of people of
    obsessively self-track and accumulate all forms of data on themselves
    – a number of artists explored this in the 1990s anticipating a social
    phenomenon- clear the evolving ideas of privacy with public display of
    datasexuality shifts the location of shame


    Hi All,

    Sean Cubitt wrote

    > The difficult balance between paranoia and protest: the question is
    > whether it is possible to make art by communicating fear and shame;
    > and whether it is possible to make art without taking fear and shame
    > into account.
    Which is an excellent question.

    Making art by communicating fear and shame
    – I guess that a huge percentage of catholic (Christian) art
    of the past is precisely based on fear and shame (my
    knowledge of other religious art is too weak to say
    anything) and quite a lot is considered master pieces
    preserved in museums like Le Louvre, etc.

    Making art without taking fear and shame into account
    – Drones are unmaned planes. They are at the forefront of wars.
    But if we consider planes in general, some are military
    others civilians planes and I guess we can imagine a
    civilian, positive use of drones (not only killing people or
    for some kind of Big Brother Panopticon Surveillance).
    They could be used for scientific purposes, playfull
    worlwide events, auxiliairies to environmental issues, sky
    ballets, etc.
    And I guess, this civilian use is part of what Marko Peljhan
    has been doing and I guess this is what Oron Catts and the
    Field_Notes group from the Bio Art Society
    http://bioartsociety.fi/ have in mind. But it might be
    better to ask them !


  4. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a non-profit organization in the United States . Members serve pro bono as “advisers to the nation on science , engineering , and medicine “. As a national academy , new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election to the National Academy is one of the high honors in U.S. science.

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