Media-N <p>Journal of the New Media Caucus</p> New Media Caucus en-US Media-N 2159-6891 Autonomous Art Systems: an introduction <p><em>Media-N</em>, the Journal of the New Media Caucus, invited submissions for this issue about the use of Autonomous Art Systems, tethered and untethered systems of making, autonomous vehicles, and related programming in creative fields of study. Relevant subjects included: artworks that address concepts of drones or surveillance as subject or form; the influence of emerging technologies on studio art practices; or critical/historical analysis of the entanglement of art and technology.</p> Nick Bontrager Adam Fung ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-21 2019-01-21 15 1 1 2 10.21900/j.median.v15i1.73 Drone On <p>Access and habituation are socio-cultural forces that have acted to domesticate the drone in contemporary society. Initially a military tool for surveillance, drones took on the role of munitions platforms providing a means to conduct military operations without physical risk to their operators. As the critiques and visibility of drones in our military and foreign policy grew, we began to witness artists engaging critically with the policies and impact these technologies have on redefining and controlling geographies and human bodies alike.&nbsp;<em>Drone On</em> revisits the 2015 Art2Drone catalog by v1b3:video in the built environemnt. This online exhibition and catalog features twenty<strong>&nbsp;</strong>art works and three critical essays.&nbsp;</p> Mat Rappaport ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-21 2019-01-21 15 1 3 16 10.21900/j.median.v15i1.49 Drone Filming: Creativity versus Regulations in Autonomous Art Systems. A Case Study. <p>This article explores the impact of drone regulations on the narrative potential of drone filming. The central focus of this exploration is a Case Study analysis of the production of a multi-screen audio-visual digital installation, <em>The Crossing</em> (Patel, 2016). <em>The Crossing </em>[1], filmed in central London, utilized the use of a heavy weight Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) also known as a drone with a 5-kilo weight load capacity with the Alexa Mini WCU-4. Combined with the CForce Mini lens control system, the UAS gave unparalleled camera and lens control at extended ranges, providing complete pan, tilt and lens control and allowing dynamic moves in the air. The result was the ability to navigate through spaces to give intimate and playful shots that give the viewer ‘alternate’ versions of reality that only a ‘machine’ can provide. Artists, performers and filmmakers are finding new kinds of beauty through automated programming where the drones are not just capturing the story but the machines themselves become the story. However, the operational scope of drones is limited by legal and health and safety regulations, particularly within built up urban environments. These regulations govern the vertical and horizontal distance from objects and people, line of sight, time constraints, weather conditions as well as security implications. Further restrictions include requiring a trained and fully licensed crew with permission from the relevant aviation bodies. This article seeks to answer whether these restrictions limit the creativity of the artist or challenge the creator to consider alternate ways of using these Autonomous Art Systems to inform the aesthetic scope of the captured image. This article will draw on a combination of original filming and broadcast examples to examine how legal and security restrictions on UAS inform the narrative and aesthetic realization of the final art form and subsequent emotional and physical response of the spectator.</p> Shreepali Patel ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-27 2019-01-27 15 1 17 23 10.21900/j.median.v15i1.50 The Future's Ecology <p>We collect data about our environment at an unprecedented scale and the surveillance of individuals on a global scale goes hand in hand with it.&nbsp; Global public surveillance has constricted human rights, human bodies, lives, work, and human relationships with others.&nbsp; Privacy as we know it has vanished <em>de jure</em> and <em>de facto</em>. To disappear from the grid – for instance to recover from <em>privacy loss</em> - is almost impossible.&nbsp; We live in a state of persistent surveillance and identity theft.&nbsp; Can one live outside of this kind of state system without becoming a criminal?</p> Bogdan P.K. Perzyński ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-27 2019-01-27 15 1 24 38 10.21900/j.median.v15i1.47 To See Without Being Seen <p>This article revisits the curatorial concepts informing <em>To See Without Being Seen: Contemporary Art and Drone Warfare</em>&nbsp;a group exhibition we co-curated for the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis in 2016. The exhibition was comprised of works by twelve international artists including, James Bridle, Tomas van Houtryve, Trevor Paglen, and Hito Steyerl, who work across a range of media, including photography, video, installation, web-based projects, games as well as site-specific and participatory projects. Each of these projects presented unique critical perspectives on image-making, weaving together art, activism, and research thereby treating the drone as a political object with aesthetic ramifications and trajectories.</p> <p>&nbsp;Drawing on the notion that the drone is a vision machine that is intended to remain invisible and hence possesses the power to see without being seen, our curatorial concept engaged warfare and surveillance on the level of their visual conditions, asking how certain images come into being while others stay hidden from public sight. Essential elements of that engagement based on the artworks we showed involved an examination of the drone’s global networks and geographies, the invisible culture of operative images, and measures to counter the drone’s god-like view by going unseen. The exhibition offered room for debate regarding political and perceptual changes that are actively affecting the ways in which we see the world and engage with each other.</p> Meredith Malone Svea Braeunert ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-27 2019-01-27 15 1 39 56 10.21900/j.median.v15i1.46 The Sensing I/Eye <p>This paper draws from art, activism, and other critical practices to examine the question of whether one can speak of an aesthetics of drones, or indeed what sensory registers even make knowledge of drones possible. Given that drones themselves are typically sensing devices that depend for their functionality on remaining obscured, a variety of practices are required for understanding how drones operate as instruments of political and social life.</p> Meredith Hoy ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-27 2019-01-27 15 1 57 68 10.21900/j.median.v15i1.51 The Machines Wave Back <p>What are the general latitudes of “autonomy” described in contemporary and historical autonomous art systems practices, and what might the threshold and terminal conditions be for an art-making system’s autonomy? This exploration sets about the task of describing, categorizing and attempting to model the degrees and qualities of system-level autonomy in Autonomus Art Systems―and what the outer limits of that autonomy might be in an art-making context.&nbsp;The goals of this investigation are to develop and clarify a new way to frame discussions of autonomous art systems, to complicate generally accepted notions of artist-AAS relationships and to a propose a new autonomy and agency model-based of AAS with ideas borrowed from software engineering, sociology and other fields.</p> Chad Michael Eby ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-27 2019-01-27 15 1 69 81 10.21900/j.median.v15i1.48 The Tethered Artist <p>There is a long history of artists physically tethering themselves in order to draw attention to the lengths to which they will go in their practice, often with the implied message that they are conceptually straining at the tethers of convention. Beginning with a discussion of my recent Arctic underwater photography, this article looks at the use of tethers in my own work, as well as in that of several other historical artists. I argue that by highlighting any method of production within the artwork, and specifically a tether, artists are revealing a Realist impulse.</p> Fritz Horstman ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-27 2019-01-27 15 1 82 95 10.21900/j.median.v15i1.40 Generating Art in Symbiotic Systems <p>This essay reviews the book by Francesca Franco, <em>Generative Systems Art: The Work of Ernest Edmonds</em> (London: Routledge, 2018). This illustrated monograph discusses the primarily computer-generated work of Ernest Edmonds (b. 1942) in the context of twentieth-century art in Europe. Franco provides relevant technological history as she analyzes Edmonds’ paintings and interactive and digital projects, often created in collaboration. This book is a significant contribution to the history of computer art in which Franco affirms Edmonds’ focus on “the human’s way of working.”</p> Sharon Irish ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-01-21 2019-01-21 15 1 96 100 10.21900/j.median.v15i1.61