Making the drone strange: the politics, aesthetics and surrealism of levitation
- Royal Holloway University of London, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK
Abstract. In this paper I decentre the drone from a different kind of vertical figure that has its own prehistory and parallel history of being aloft and particular sets of aesthetic geographies we might productively deploy to reorder what we think about drones, and especially the human's place in or outside of them. The paper explores in what ways we might examine the drone from other points of view that are technical and political, but also theological, magical, artistic and aesthetic. The prehistoric or parallel aerial figure to be considered is the levitator, the subject or thing that floats without any attributable mechanical force, visible or physical energy source. The paper draws on notions of aesthetics and politics in order for the levitator not to be compared with the drone, but to enable its very different visual and aesthetic regimes to begin to redistribute quite a different set of drone geographies that are ambiguous, mystical, gendered and sexed.