Assemblage of the vertical: commercial drones and algorithmic life
- Department of Geography, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, USA
Abstract. This paper takes up the increasingly popular topic of drones – including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS), remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), and a vast panoply of commercial drones and copters – to argue that our analysis should lie not so much on drones as objects, but as assemblages of the vertical. Drones, I argue, constitute a socio-technical assemblage of the sky and vertical space, which means that our focus should be not (only) on their technological development and capacities but also on their effects and affects. The latter of these include increasing algorithmic data collection and circulation that follow anticipatory logics.