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Title: Unruly encounters : re-staging images of drone warfare through an embodied art practice
Author: Fahey, Kate
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 6169
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2020
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This practice-based research centres upon censored operative images uploaded to YouTube by the UK and US militaries. These images present drone warfare as disembodied, clean and precise. Through theoretical research and a fine art practice of writing, video, sculpture and installation, the project develops a response to the central question of the thesis: how can art practice create an embodied encounter with these military drone images? Employing and recalibrating Donna Haraway’s theory of ‘situated knowledges and partial perspectives’, the research engages with a range of methodological concerns; embodiment, fictioning, posthuman assemblages and new materialism. The generation of this research methodology has been iterative; each of the four bodies of practicebased research assimilated appropriate and useful concerns from the previous one. These decisions were reached through critical reflection enabled by the installation and public exhibition of the work, theoretical research and an ongoing dialogue with other artists working in the field. The hybrid and experimental nature of the practice engenders experiential sensory modes of encountering the re-staged images in an installation-based setting. In these encounters, the vulnerability of human and non-human bodies, materials, spaces, technical processes and sounds also emerge as markers of their agency, interrupting the ideology of technical precision and bodies as calculative entities. These vulnerabilities registered through subtle human and non-human frictions and resistances in the practice-based research generate unruly experiential registers with bodies resisting categorisation and establish an embodied encounter with the restaged operative image. Artistic production in this context opens momentary disruptions in the perception of bodiless and technically precise warfare propagated through these images online, creating the conditions for a relational response. Through exploring multiple instantiations of vulnerability, the research contributes an embodied, decentred feminist methodology and a body of artistic practice that intervenes in techno-scientific modes of visualising employed by the military and which have become prominent in art practice concerned with drone warfare.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: AHRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Photography