Drone aesthetics examines a distinctively modern idiom, a shorthand for new modes of representing war from the extraterrestrial perspective of a machine. It asks what it means to be a subject, bodied forth in a world of objects, sense impressions, and new technologies – many of them visual translation instruments – that have extended dramatically the range of the human sensorium, transforming the relation between body, self and world.
The same technologies also bring new ways of making and experiencing war. Lisa Barnard’s subject matter is the machinery of contemporary conflict – the increasingly virtual spaces within which war is waged, and the digital weaponry that is used to wage it. Drone Aesthetics looks at the ways that this machinery alters the parameters of human experience, and suggests that the type of aesthetic experience most closely allied with drone aesthetics is that of the technological sublime.