Solo exhibition by George Barberwaterside contemporary, 2013
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – drones – have become an everyday feature of contemporary military activity, replacing humans in reconnaissance flights, small-scale combat missions and covert operations. The US Army operates some ten thousands UAVs –a six-fold increase during Obama’s term – deploying them over locations like Pakistan and Yemen.
In an installation conceived specially for the gallery and consisting of three video projections, an array of domestic objects and numerous washing lines, george Barber’s The freestone drone follows a mission from the point of view of the machine. The drone’s camera surveys cityscapes, encounters individuals, reports, and in flight becomes aware of its own utility and des- tiny. drone operators routinely study the washing to learn about their targets – it is foretold that the free- stone drone is to die entangled in a clothes line.
The video combines found and made footage to produce an uneasy, seductive montage, anchored on the drone’s private thoughts. Barber brings together war, love, life, death, and sends the drone over not only Waziristan, but also to New York and a london suburb. The drone then travels through time, projecting images of the past and possible futures.