Through Saturday, October 25th: ‘Decolonized Skies’ Showcases Ways Surveillance Technology Can Be Used for Public Good

    Date: 09/10/2014 - 10/25/2014

    Time: All Day

    Location: apexart (291 Church St., Manhattan)

    Price: Free

    Since the invention of aerial photography during the last decades of the 19th century, the sky above our heads has become a territory subjected to militarized conflicts over mastery and command. Following this evolution, the view from above has become associated with state control and corporate power. This reality is even more apparent in recent years with the excessive worldwide use of drones and other Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for purposes of surveillance and destruction. Parallel to this disturbing rising trend, and in many respects as a response to it, an increasing number of artists, activists, scientists, and designers from different regions seek ways to use today’s technology to re- appropriate the sky and reclaim the view from above.

    These efforts and experiments stand at the center of Decolonized Skies, an exhibition that brings together artists and groups of practitioners from a variety of disciplines. They attempt to decolonize the aerial point of view and the visuality it produces by manipulating satellite images, operating hand-made UAVs, and creating new mapping systems in a search for civilian-oriented visual and political imagery. The exhibition explores the new visual strategies generated by the democratization of the view from above for the production and distribution of civilian knowledge. It underscores the empowering potential of civilian action while questioning the very notion of “democratization.” The assemblage of videos, maps, computer programs, sound bites, and images offers alternative strategies for engaging with and obtaining information about local socio-political hotspots.

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