Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Racial Justice | Election 2020

Drones At Home’ Exhibition Explores Increasing Use Of Drones By Civilians

We're sorry. This audio clip is no longer available. A transcript has been made available.

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are often associated with the military at war—typically to describe planes that are flown remotely from a remote operator. However, drones serve many other purposes beyond combat overseas, and are increasingly being used here in the U.S., from government surveillance, border security operations and search and rescue efforts, to traffic monitoring and livestock tracking.

An art exhibition at UC San Diego looks at the growing usage of drones stateside. "Drones at Home: Phase 3," on view through December 14 at Gallery @ Calit2, explores the "strange allure of drones," including the growth of drone hobbyists and DIY drone-making culture, and the "push for their domestication—by governments, corporations and everyday citizens."

Co-curated by Jordan Crandall, UC San Diego visual arts professor and department chair, "Drones at Home: Phase 3" presents a range of works from a website and videos to projected still images and an actual drone model in the middle of the gallery. There is also a series of "performative workshops," open to the public and led by different artists, which examine different aspects of drone use. Crandall, who has written about drones and whose work includes both art-making (performance art, video) and thoughtful, scholarly writing, is fascinated by drones—what they represent and how they affect us as humans.

"I’m really interested in how we can think about drones as a kind of form that we can think about how it’s reshaping the role and place of the human. What does it foretell about us and our place in the world? And how it affects us in our own space, in our own imaginations," says Crandall.

"In some ways the drone is us," says Crandall. "We think we’re completely in the driver seat but we’re part of networks, we’re remotely operated. We’re embedded systems, we don’t live in isolation especially now because our technologies are becoming such a part of our lives."

For Crandall, drones in all of their myriad forms, represent a "new conscience of technological agency," an extension of the human body and a way for humans to rethink where we are in the world. "We all exist in these kinds of strange spaces when we’re multi-tasking. We’re here, but we're also in other places."

KPBS Midday Edition speaks with Crandall about his fascination with drones, the growing use of drones domestically and the current exhibition at the Gallery @ Calit2.

More information:

Bio: Jordan Crandall "Drone Desire" by Jordan Crandall

Fronteras Desk series: Drones on the U.S.-Mexico Border


San Diego News Matters podcast branding

KPBS' daily news podcast covering local politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings so you can listen on your morning commute.

  • Your curated weekly guide to local arts and culture in San Diego, from Arts Calendar Editor Julia Dixon Evans, delivered to your inbox every Thursday afternoon.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Midday Edition banner

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily radio news magazine keeping San Diego in the know on everything from politics to the arts.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.