Given that civilian drones will soon occupy our skies, I believe there is an urgency for people to investigate the complexities of their potential impact on our lives. As a research, design and innovation company, at Superflux we not only prototype and build applications. We also design ways to translate our research and understanding into tangible and experiential visions that create visceral connections with how these technologies might touch our lives in the near future.
For the past few months we have been doing just that. Supported by the prestigious Grants for the Arts Award, we have been getting under the hood of this technology, to understand how it works and where its true potential might lie. The project is called ‘The Drone Aviary’, where we use the word “drone” to talk about a machine that has a certain amount of agency for decision-making. And one that can affect larger systems without human intervention or even observation.
In the coming months, our ambition is for these themes to find form in a large-scale interactive installation. Ten specially designed and programmed drones will inhabit a space in the heart of the city, moving within feet of visitors, bringing them into direct interaction with these flying robotic machines. At once a breath-taking spectacle and a provocation, it is our ambition to create a visceral connection with these new species of urban anima. They will soon become part of our city's ecosystem, roaming the skies, sniffing data and performing tasks with increasing autonomy.