Unmanned Aerial Vacation is an interactive video installation that attempts to examine how we view our landscapes through military/consumer technologies. The images are two different video loops created from online found footage filmed by a relatively recent development in consumer photographic technology and one long employed by the military – the unmanned aerial vehicle, or, the UAV. For the past 50 years, UAVs were primarily a military tool used for both assault and reconnaissance purposes. In the past decade, UAV’s have been used extensively in both the Iraq and Afghanistan War. In addition, consumer use of UAV’s has proliferated in the past decade. One of the many prominent employments of the UAV has been in the field of high-end luxury real estate photography.
This installation is an attempt at visualizing the relationships between these physically and culturally disparate spaces. By using a webcam to track the viewer’s distance to the image, the footage of luxury real estate “zooms” in and out, eventually forming the visual units/pixels for the military UAV footage of targeted structures while a voice-over elaborates on the features of a multi-million dollar estate. And vice versa, the military footage forms the visual units/pixels of the real estate footage to the radio chatter of UAV military pilots. This results in a mash up of signifiers, reflecting on the hyperlinked space of the images, where luxury mansions and kill-cam footage exist on the same page.