UC San Diego Drone Mystery Revealed

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Filed under: Creative Activism, Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

From Paul:

Drone Crashes On UC San Diego Campus, Revealed As ‘New Media Art Project’
by Tyler Kingkade
The Huffington Post
December 7, 2012

Students at the University of California-San Diego were surprised when an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, commonly referred to as a drone, crashed in the middle of campus — or at least they thought that’s what happened.

A photo of a drone crashed in front of the UCSD library was released by the UC Center for Drone Policy and Ethics on Tuesday. The group released the photo along with a statement saying the “origin and manufacturer of the crashed drone remains unclear,” and that the group was going to hold a public town hall to discuss it.

However, NBC San Diego reports the UC Center for Drone Policy and Ethics isn’t real:

The so-called UC Center for Drone Policy and Ethics released the picture along with an online statement Thursday addressing a “Campus Drone Incident,” which they say occurred Tuesday.

Not only is the center not affiliated with the university, it’s not real either. It was created by artists at the university’s Gallery@Calit2, a campus art gallery that explores the relationships between art and technology.

A UC San Diego spokesperson also denied the existence of the Center.

BoingBoing notes the “drone crash” is part of a “Drones at Home” art project by UCSD professor Ricardo Dominguez.

In a release about “Drones at Home,” Gallery@Calit2 describes the project as expanding “on the unmanned nature of the drone as symbolic of a larger condition — ecologies where the status of the human is called into question, distributed and embedded in a wider field of shared intelligence.”

“I’m sure some of [the students] probably did think it was real,” Dominguez told NBC San Diego, “but that’s one of the practices of new media art – what we call minor simulation. It creates an event that is difficult to understand as either real or not real.”

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