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Kathrin Maurer: The Sensorium of the Drone

Aesthetic Seminar

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Thursday 15 March 2018,  at 14:15 - 17:00


This talk investigates aesthetic representations of civilian and military drone technology with a specific focus on sensorial experience. Remote sensing, fluid surveillance, and algorithmic data streaming make drones into powerful sensing machines, that in turn not only extend the human sensorium but also evoke sensory affects within the subject. This talkdemonstrates how these sensorial experiences can inform visions of human collectives and communities. Drones and their agents can generate perceptions of the world, ideologies, racial dichotomies, and bio-political discourses. Artists have engaged with these drone imaginaries and have tried to create alternative images and narratives dismantling the power of the drone. By discussing drone art (novels, art installations, photography, films about drones), this talkdemonstrates how the aesthetic realm can deconstruct, de-territorialize, and experiment with the sensory power of the drone. In doing so, these aesthetic works can reflect critically about the communities and their vulnerabilities constructed by drone technology and its agents.


Kathrin Maurer (Dr. Phil.; Phd); Associate Professor of German Studies at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense (DK). Recent Publications: “The Paradox of Immersion: Watching War in Nineteenth-Century Panoramas” in Visualizing War: Emotions, Technologies, Communities (Routledge, 2018, ed. by KM and AEP); Visualizing the Past: The Power of the Image in Nineteenth-Century Historicism (Walter de Gruyter, 2013). Her research interests are in visual culture, technology, discourses of war, representations of history, and German literature. She is also the leader of the research network “Drones and Aesthetics” sponsored by the Danish Research Council. 


Programme: Aesthetic Seminars Spring 2018