“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
― Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
As any other product of the human mind, it’s no surprise that drones have become the latest technology to be incorporated in the arts. From visual media, to music, to dance, artists are finding new modes of expression within the gentle whir of quadcopters and the pirouette of a remote control unit.
In creating the next UAV Picasso, KATSU developed a drone that can use a can of spray paint and can release paint in a semi-random pattern governed both by the drone’s flight patterns and the artist’s use of a remote control.
A Silicon Valley media statement explains:
“The gesture of the mark is governed by the drone’s gyroscope as it tries to “right” itself from the paint payload and the spray propulsion. The result is semi-controlled chaos as the artist dictates color but has only modest control over composition.”
“What makes the drone paintings so unique is that the drone’s propellers always cause the spray to flick to the right and several distinct markings act like brushstrokes, revealing the motions of the drone as it moves through the air,” writes Laura McQuarrie at Trendhunter.com.
In June, two military aviators launched one of the first shows to feature photographs taken by a drone. Dubbing themselves anonymously as DroneArt31, the drone-tastic duo featured several UAV-snapped photos at a Long Beach (Calif.) show.
“We realized that some of the stuff we were creating was really, really aesthetically pleasing,” one of the unnamed pilots told LAWeekly. “A lot of what we’ve achieved and created is very different from anything else you’ll see in aerial photos.”
Also in June, Japanese dance troupe Eleven Play teamed up with artist/hacker Daito Manabe to choreograph a performance which allowed the dancers to control the UAVs using motion capture technology. A report in DigitalArti explains:
“Dancers can physically and intuitively perceive the relationship between the body and data through the computer-controlled drones. [The] dancers have to be perfectly trained to interact with the drones because they could not always predict how they would move.”
Finally, in a world of drum machines and auto-tuned one-hit wonders, it’s no surprise that drones are even making a name in the world of music.
Robotics research company KMel Robotics posted a video in April demonstrating how a swarm of autonomous drones use musical instruments to play music. As with all works of art, it’s better to experience a work rather than just read about it, so KMel….take us out.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.