'Clouds of Unknowing', 2014. Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson (terminal beach). Video (still)
'Clouds of Unknowing', 2014. Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson (terminal beach). Video (still)

A SCREAMING COMES ACROSS THE SKY

LABORAL, GIJON, SPAIN


10 OCT 2014 - 5 APRIL 2015



INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION ON DRONES, MASS SURVEILLANCE AND INVISIBLE WARS PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LABORAL, CURATED BY LIGHTHOUSE


This new international group exhibition A screaming comes across the sky focuses on the shock and awe of drone warfare. The exhibition, and its associated events, explores the increasingly invisible military technologies that have been responsible for the disappearance of growing numbers of civilians in the past decade in wars that are largely conducted secretly and unaccountably.

Hito Steyerl. HOW NOT TO BE SEEN: A Fucking Didactic Educational .Mov File. 2013. Still image, single  screen 1080p .mov file, 14min. © Hito Steyerl. Courtesy Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam
Hito Steyerl. HOW NOT TO BE SEEN: A Fucking Didactic Educational .Mov File. 2013. Still image, single screen 1080p .mov file, 14min. © Hito Steyerl. Courtesy Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam

Drones have become one of the most powerful weapons of war. Remotely controlled by operators thousands of miles away from the theatre of war, they carry out attacks that have left thousands of people dead in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. A screaming comes across the sky explores these increasingly invisible military technologies used in wars that are largely conducted secretly and unaccountably.

Hovering above communities, cameras on and weapons loaded, drones have become a symbol of dread: an overwhelming, existential fear that, like a memory of the future, warns us of imminent danger. The exhibition, and its associated events, zooms in on the shock and awe of drone warfare, and addresses the ethical and legal ambiguity of drones, mass surveillance and war at a distance. It presents the work of contemporary artists who are critiquing the way in which military technology and networks can obscure, conceal and distance us from the political and social reality of warfare today.

The title is taken from the opening line of Thomas Pynchon’s novel, Gravity’s Rainbow, which explores the social and political context behind the development of the V-2 rocket by the German military during World War II. Today’s technologies of war, such as the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper drones, and their laser-guided Hellfire missiles, bear resemblance to the V-2 in their ability to operate unseen and to strike without warning.

In the post-PRISM age of mass surveillance and invisible war, artists, alongside journalists, whistleblowers and activists, reveal the technological infrastructures that enable events like drone-strikes to occur. Some of the works here are poetic by nature, inviting the audience to placidly reflect. Others create a more immediate, visceral response, making them physically experience awe and apprehension. As often in tragedy, humour can be the most fearless messenger.

ARTISTS IN THE SHOW

Aeracoop (Lot Amorós, Cristina Navarro & Alexandre Oliver) (ES)
Lot Amorós (ES)
James Bridle (UK)
Alicia Framis (ES)
Laurent Grasso (FR)
Roger Hiorns (UK)
Metahaven (NL)
Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson (terminal beach) (UK/IT)
Mariele Neudecker (DE)
Martha Rosler (US)
Roman Signer (CH)
Hito Steyerl (DE)

Credits

Produced by: LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial
Curated by: Juha van ’t Zelfde
Initiation of concept and collaboration by: Honor Harger
Exhibition Architecture by: Miroslav Rajic
Exhibition graphics designed by: Metahaven

With thanks to: All of the artists involved and courtesy of: Open Data Institute (London), Laurent Grasso Studio (Paris), Edouard Malingue Gallery (Hong Kong), ADAGP Gallery (Paris), Corvi-Mora Gallery (London), Galerie Barbara Thumm (Berlin), Martha Rosler Studio (New York) & Galerie Nagel Draxler (Berlin) Galerie Martin Janda (Vienna), Wilfried Lentz (Rotterdam), Andrew Kreps Gallery (New York).

Dates: 10 October 2014 to 5 April 2015
Times: 11am-7pm Wednesday to Sunday
Venue: LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación, Los Prados, 121, 33394 Gijón, Spain

LABoral

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