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.”