press release

Game of Drones. Of unmanned aerial vehicles
June 7–November 3, 2019

In the summer of 2019, technology and art will merge at the Zeppelin Museum into the first German transdisciplinary exhibition Game of Drones. Von unbemannten Flugobjekten(Game of Drones. Of unmanned aerial vehicles).

The drone is a technology with ambivalent use. Drones are used for surveillance, transportation, photography and agriculture. In combination with artificial intelligence they are considered the most important war technology since the invention of the atomic bomb. But drones have arrived as toys at the mass market: In 2020 about 1.2 million unmanned aerial vehicles will be roaming the skies in Germany alone.

In the exhibition both the technological development and the varying applications are examined. 11 internationally renowned artists raise ethical issues which must be reflected especially against the background of economic and military interests.

As invisible technologies that can be observed but not seen at the same time, a central focus of the shown exhibits is to bring the drones back into the field of the visible. Divided into eight different sections, the displays process animism, protest, feminist appropriation, surveillance/counter-surveillance, war, artificial intelligence, as well as the museum’s own drone "Claire" and drone shadows traced to scale in the outdoor area. Furthermore, aspects of technological mystification and animism are reflected: the drone as an actor and animated object. Frequently characterized as "male technology," feminist positions increasingly deal with the object/subject status of drones. It becomes clear how much space drone technologies already occupy today and how they, in conjunction with artificial intelligence, will decisively shape our future.

The exhibits range from kites to multicopters for civil and military purposes to target-, combat- and reconnaissance drones. How do indigenous peoples use drones to resist, what does anti-drone-clothing look like, what makes a drone a spiritual being and how does a drone learn with AI? The exhibition shows that our everyday lives are increasingly determined by automated machines and recorded by unmanned aerial vehicles.

Participating artists: Ignacio Acosta, Anohni, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Frédérick A. Belzile, James Bridle, Gonçalo F. Cardoso & Ruben Pater, Omer Fast, Adam Harvey, Lawrence Lek, Martha Rosler, Raphaela Vogel

The exhibition is funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes (German Federal Cultural Foundation).

Game of Drones is curated by Ina Neddermeyer (head of art department), Jürgen Bleibler (head of technology department) and Sabine Mücke (research associate in the technology department).