19th May 2014, 12:15pm
As Above, So Below: International colloquium shines a spotlight on the drone
As Above, So Below: A Colloquium on Drone Culture Distinguished speakers from around the world will gather in Lincoln later this month to explore prominent issues surrounding ‘drone culture’.

As part of an international one-day colloquium hosted by the 21st Century Research Group at the University of Lincoln, UK, academics, writers, artists and performers from across the globe will discuss the social and conceptual implications of unmanned aircraft.

As Above, So Below: A Colloquium on Drone Culture is open to the public, and will take place on Saturday 24th May 2014 in the University of Lincoln’s EMMTEC Building, on the Brayford Pool Campus.

The use of military drones is an issue that continues to garner considerable attention in popular media and public discussion, with unmanned aircraft also used in a number of civil applications, such as policing, firefighting and nonmilitary security work, such as the surveillance of pipelines.

As well as exploring the ethical implications of ‘drone culture’, the psychological effects of exerting power from a distance and the implications of the commercial use of drones in civilian airspace, the research group’s day-long event will look beyond the physical vehicle and examine a broader series of questions relating to the drone as a cultural concept.

Dr Rob Coley, Lecturer at the Lincoln School of Media and organiser of the event, explained: “This event will bring to Lincoln theorists, artists and performers from all over the world in order to explore the cultural phenomenon of the ‘drone’. It is important to debate contemporary issues while their outcomes and consequences are still unclear. In this way, publically engaged academic research can contribute to ongoing social debates and perhaps affect their future development, and we very much hope the public will be keen to add their voices.

“We will explore issues of local importance as well as of global concern, and presentations at our colloquium may also address the use of the drone in farming, in journalism, and in marketing gimmicks by the likes of Amazon. The event will deal with the idea of ‘drone culture’ more broadly, touching on films, contemporary art, video games and, of course, the drone as a musical form. We are particularly excited to have two fantastic keynote speakers who will address these wide-ranging issues, including how remote visualisation changes our perception of space and geography, and how the drone could be a symptom of a changing relationship between humans and machines.”

As Above, So Below will feature a keynote talk from Derek Gregory, Peter Wall Distinguished Professor at the University of British Columbia and acclaimed author of The Colonial Present, Geographical Imaginations and The Everywhere War. He will be joined by Dr Benjamin Noys, Reader in English at the University of Chichester and author of The Culture of Death, The Persistence of the Negative and Malign Velocities.

Delegates will also enjoy a performance of Myth-Drone by the artists Plastique Fantastique, and an exhibition of work produced by undergraduate students from the University of Lincoln. Places at the event are priced from £25. If you would like to attend or receive further information, please contact abovebelow@lincoln.ac.uk.
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