The promise of modernity’s drone-assisted conquest of air space is far from uncomplicated. As unmanned air vehicles become more ubiquitous, with implementations ranging from intelligence-gathering and covert military attacks to cultural production and everyday logistics, this special issue of Krisis captures the technical, aesthetic, economic, psychic, and political challenges facing the rise of the drone.
To invoke and provoke the everyday, Rob Stone opens the issue by bringing home the unease of displaced technologies through sonic imagination and biomimicry. Moving from patterned cacophonies to discursive shifts, Øyvind Vågnes evaluates the role of euphemism in shaping public perception of the so-called War On Terror. Alex Edney-Browne’s article tackles the prominent image of the drone operator as PlayStation killer head-on by questioning the assumption that the virtualization of violence yields a decrease in empathy, argues that mediation can also constitute feelings of proximity and stimulate peer-recognition. Halbe Kuipers’ article reflects on the metaphysical and ethical implications of image-making when drones participate in filmic world-making. A 2015 debate transcript follows, in which Krisis’s own Eva Sancho Rodriguez moderates a discussion between Willem Schinkel and Rogier van Reekum. The issue ends with two book reviews: Sigmund Bruno Schilpzand on Grégoire Chamayous’s A Theory of the Drone and Tobias Burgers on Ian Shaw’s Predator Empire: Drone Warfare and Full Spectrum Dominance.
The image is a fragment of Ruben Pater’s Drone Survival Guide
With contributions from:
Rob Stone, Øyvind Vågnes, Alex Edney-Browne, Halbe Kuipers, Rogier van Reekum, Willem Schinkel, Eva Sancho Rodriguez, Tobias Burgers and Sigmund Bruno Schilpzand