Drone Imaginaries and Society, Odense, June 5-6 2018

Drone Imaginaries and Society – full details here (via Geographical Imaginations)

University of Southern Denmark, June 5-6, 2018
Room Sky (Odense Campus College)

Organizer:
  • Kathrin Maurer (Phd, Dr. Phil)
    Associate Professor of German Studies
    kamau@sdu.dk
Keynote Speaker:
  • Derek Gregory: Peter Wall Distinguished Professor of Geography at the University of British Columbia and author of Violent Geographies: Fear, Terror, and Political Violence (Routledge)

Drones are in the air. The production of civilian drones for rescue, transport, and leisure activity is booming. The Danish government, for example, proclaimed civilian drones a national strategy in 2016. Accordingly, many research institutions as well as the industry focus on the development, usage, and promotion of drone technology. These efforts often prioritize commercialization and engineering as well as setting-up UAV (Unmanned Arial Vehicle) test centers. As a result, urgent questions regarding how drone technology impacts our identity as humans as well as their effects on how we envision the human society are frequently underexposed in these initiatives.

Our conference aims to change this perspective. By investigating cultural representations of civilian and military drones in visual arts, film, and literature, we intend to shed light on drone technology from a humanities’ point of view. This aesthetic “drone imaginary” forms not only the empirical material of our discussions but also a prism of knowledge which provides new insights into the meaning of drone technology for society today.

Several artists, authors, film makers, and thinkers have already engaged in this drone imaginary. While some of these inquiries provide critical reflection on contemporary and future drone technologies – for instance issues such as privacy, surveillance, automation, and security – others allow for alternative ways of seeing and communicating as well as creative re-imagination of new ways of organizing human communities. The goal of the conference is to bring together these different aesthetic imaginaries to better understand the role of drone technologies in contemporary and future societies.

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