1001 Drone Nights

Ronnie Karfiol / Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel — Jan 18, 2020

This proposal is inspired by the war between semi-autonomous flying objects on the border between Gaza Strip and Israel. Back in 2018, Palestinian citizens started flying kites armed with small explosives. Shortly after, the IDF has decided to fight the kites with drones, attempting to use the device in a basic manner – by using the drone’s facade to tear the kite up, or to simply drag it down to the ground.

However, the Citizen vs. Army battle rapidly transformed into a Citizen vs. Citizen battle, as Israelis living in the towns near Gaza took matters into their hands by using their own private drones with smartphone GPS in order to tackle the flying kites. This war trend, while continuing the incurring violent tensions, also created its own enclave within the war ecosystem – a unique battle with no humans physically involved, like a virtual war game. The maker ideology is prevalent on both sides.

Moreover, as both the drone and the kite share a similar history in aerial photography, this also becomes a stark depiction of the endless cycle of technology. To quote Paul Virilio, it is also a Pure War, a war so embedded in everyday life it accelerates new weaponry technology.

1001 Drone Nights proposes a web performance of this virtual battlefield, where the user can also cross the lines and join via added assets of DIY drones/kites models for download with instructions. I will create several animations depicting the same battle of drone/kite, each generating a different outcome (e.g.: kite/drone dropping, kite/drone crash, kite/drone dance etc.) A different animation will be drawn randomly each time a user enters the virtual battlefield. The overall aesthetic will be of a nocturnal virtual battlefield, with the option to either passively watch, or actively join.

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