[ISEA2015] Artist Statement: Joseph DeLappe – THE COWARDLY DRONES

Artist Statement

Digital image, search engine intervention (2013 – 2014)

The Cowardly Drones is a series of interventions that attempt to subvert online images searches for weaponized drones. DeLappe downloads top search results of various UAV’s (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) in use by the United States Military, including General Atomics MQ1-Predator Drone, MQ9 Reaper Drones and Global Hawk Drones. Each image is carefully manipulated to digitally include the marking COWARDLY upon its fuselage using typical military fonts. The saved images are then uploaded to the internet with basic titling information Predator Drone, Reaper Drone, Global Hawk Drone. The objective is to force the revised images into image searches by the general public, causing a subtle intervention into the media stream of US military power.

  • Joseph DeLappe works at the intersection of art, technology, social engagement, activism and interventionist strategies in order to explore geopolitical contexts. Works in online gaming performance, public engagements, participatory sculpture and electromechanical installation have been shown throughout the United States and internationally. He has developed works for venues such as Eyebeam in New York, The Guangdong Museum of Art, China and Transition MX, Mexico City, among others. Creative works and actions have been featured widely in scholarly journals, books and in the popular media. A San Francisco, USA, native, he is currently based at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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