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Dronestagram uses social media to highlight drone strikes

19/02/2013 10:52

(CNN) The use of drones to carry out military strikes is controversial, to say the least. U.S. lawmakers and international leaders continue to examine the legality of the unmanned attacks and whether their role in curbing terrorism outweighs the risk of unintended casualties. But British artist James Bridle has made up his mind -- and he's adopting Web and mobile tools to tell his side of the story. "There are many ways to approach the use of drones, but being against it, my take is old school: raising awareness," he told CNN. "This means not only knowing that drone strikes are happening, but knowing how we frame it, how we understand it."
His Dronestagram is a project that blends art and technology in an effort to show Americans, and others, a side of warfare that few will ever see in person. The project collects what it says are Google Earth images of the locations of drone strikes. The photos are then posted to Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app more customarily used to share filtered images of skylines, cappuccinos and other much lighter fare. From there, they're pushed to popular blogging platform Tumblr and Twitter.
The idea, Bridle said, is to make the strikes "just a little bit more visible, a little closer, a little more real." He notes the irony of using technology, from GPS location data to mobile social-sharing, to report on a uniquely high-tech form of warfare. "History, like space, is co-produced by us and our technologies," Bridle told CNN. "Those technologies include satellite mapping, social photo sharing from handheld devices, and fleets of flying death robots. "We should engage with them at every level. ... We have gotten better at immediacy and intimacy online: Perhaps we can be better at empathy too."
A spokesman for the Department of Defense declined to comment to CNN about Dronestagram or U.S. drone activity.

Source: https://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/14/tech/dronestagram/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7

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