Wireless Drones in the Landscape: Liam Young and Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today
Tomorrows Thoughts Today is a London-based think tank started by Liam Young and Darryl Chen that explores topics such as urbanism, sustainability, utopia, urban planning, architecture, land use, and public space.
One recent interactive installation was called Electronic Countermeasures and was performed live at the GLOW Festival in Eindhoven NL in the evening. The project is an aerial drone choreography performed by “drone pilots.” Using a local wifi network, the modified glowing “quadrocopters” did a choreographed in-air performance.
Visitors could interact with them by calling specific phone numbers. Dialing the number made the drones break formation, and approach. The drones would light up, flicker and glow while becoming a pirate broadcast network or a mobile infrastructure that passers-by could interact with. The more interaction, the more animated the drones would become.
About the project the artists write, “Today we are much closer to our virtual community than we are to our real neighbors. This death of distance has created new forms of city based around ephemeral digital connections rather than physical geography. In this context the Electronic Countermeasures explores the design and manufacture of a flock of interactive autonomous drones that form their own place specific, local, wifi community and pirate file sharing network.
Liam Young will be an Artist in Residence this Spring, and is the first recipient of San Francisco’s Headlands Art Centres ‘ new Architecture/Environment Artist in Residence award. Young’s residency will begin with a series of sorties (or flights/attacks), through the surrounding landscape to survey the ecology and obsolete military technologies of the Marin Headlands. Large-scale maps and drawings will be the basis for a series of small robotic installations and architectural prosthetics, which will be installed on site in the landscape.
The residency will conclude with a series choreographed aerial robotic drone performances titled ‘Birds of Prey’ launched from the abandoned Nike missile silo sites. Also part of the residency will be an intensive interdisciplinary design workshop and curated storytelling event in the surrounding woods.
Tomorrows Thoughts Today