Gillian Rose on the shared visual imagination of drones / smart cities – great post

Gillian Rose has blogged about Derek Gregory’s recent lecture(s?) at Cambridge, which sounded interesting and provocative. It’s a great blogpost – I encourage people to read it.

I hadn’t thought of the similarities of visual imagination, or (systems of) visuality, across and between (military) drones and ‘smart cities’, but Gillian’s points make sense.

I was struck especially by this great point:

advocates of both smart cities and drone warfare share an absence of historical narrative so that their technologies can be seen as new, modern, better and more desirable.  (Which of course conveniently ignores various histories of failure, imprecision, rejection and unreliability.)

This seems especially important, and is a tactic/ approach shared by the kinds of computing R&D that I’ve studied and written about… it’s that lack of historical narrative ~ the ‘any-when’-ness, that facilitates some of the ways in which computing researchers have employed particular kinds of visual grammar to render particular kinds of possible future (in the) present.

Anyway – have a read

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One Reply to “Gillian Rose on the shared visual imagination of drones / smart cities – great post”

  1. Thanks for the steer to this post and thence to the site where the drone theory ‘dream team’ had gathered — Chamayou and Gregory (and Thrift). I wrote a rather chaotic piece about to come out in a big anthology called Zones of Control that tries to speak to something like the connections between smart city design and discourse and drones. Also, it seems that Virilio’s striking work in Speed and Politics (mostly) on the origins, nature and function of the ‘city’ would seem a promising place to flesh out the historical/political relations between city and subaltern repression design.

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