Liam Young, 02 12 14

Loop 6o hz Making of Documentry

A flock of autonomous DJI copters are programmed as aerial dancers and are mounted with specially engineered wireless speakers to broadcast the instruments of the band. Other copters are dressed in elaborate costumes to disguise their form and reflect light across the audience below. Against a score of original compositions and selected tracks from Cale’s seminal career this collaboration with Young imagines the possibilities of the drones as emerging cultural objects. If these technologies are no longer unseen objects overhead, or propelled along classified flight paths but brought into close and intimate relations with us then how might we see them differently. When their transmission fades, when the drones lose their signal and without their protocols for terror and surveillance, do they drop from the sky, do they fall in love or do the drones drift endlessly, forever on loop.

Watch the Bevis Bowden’s film cataloguing the Barbican performance on the 12 & 13 September 2014 and the making of documentary produced by The Creators Project that chronicles the teams development of  a new ultrasonic tracking system that supported autonomous drone flight and programmed choreographies and the design of drone couture costumes.


Interactive Digital Environment

To support the live performance and allow remote experiences of the drone orchestra project, Liam Young and John Cale also joined forces with digital artists FIELD to develop an accompanying online interactive environment- City of Drones. Charting the story of a lost drone drifting through an abstract vertical cityscape, players are invited to pilot a virtual craft and remotely explore this imaginary world. The machine vision of the drone reduces the city to pure geometry as flightpath algorithms plot courses along the narrow streets. Samples from Cale’s original soundscape compositions, developed for the live performance, echo across the landscape and we see the city through the eyes of the drone, buzzing between the buildings, drifting endlessly, in an ambient audio visual choreography.