February 8, 2015 § Leave a comment
I know how this looks, but it isn’t as shocking as you might think. remote controlled agency has been a technological dream of man kind for centuries. Most human cultures have come upon magic as a way to exert will over distance during at some point in their history. For ancient cultures, magic was the way you spied upon your neighbors and struck them from beyond the horizon.
And what then are drones? Contemporary crystal balls. The bolts of Zeus, and the hammer of Thor. Drones are will at a distance, they are agency by remote control.
I was watching a history channel documentary the other day. When they weren’t cutting to stock clips of meteorites crashing to Earth (if you have ever watched the history channel, I’m sure you know what I mean), they were interviewing a couple of US Navy dudes who operate predator drones. There was a bit of footage that showed the interface that the guys work with, and it looked a lot like they sat around playing Starcraft all day. For those of you who missed this part of childhood, Starcraft is a real-time strategy computer game played with perspective one might have if looking down upon google earth.
If you’ve read Ender’s game, by Orson Scot Card, you might find this particularly interesting. But I won’t spoil the book if you haven’t. That’s what this image is about. The connection between video games, interface, technology, and the physical environment– but not our environment, an environment a literal world away. If the image looks political, that’s a bit of an accident; i’m just rendering the game, and that game has its players.