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Airborne Inscription: Writing with drones

Electronic Visualisation and the Arts (EVA)

Electronic Visualisation and the Arts

9 - 13 July 2018

Sensors, Photography, Drones, Data, Visualisation, Generative, Poetry, Anthropocene

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      This paper will detail the technical and conceptual aspects behind a developing art project entitled Waveform. This project draws together the technologies of airborne drones, digital image analysis, and automatic text generation to investigate how the observable world is represented through digital sensors—a key issue in the monitoring and depiction of ecological and climactic change. Specifically, the project involves capturing airborne images of coastal shorelines, mapping and analysing the outlines of incoming waves, and then incorporating the resulting data into the generation of text resembling free-verse poetry. The process is not autonomous, and is subject to human intervention at each stage, with the generated poems being curated to engage themes concerning coast, a changing climate, and scientific knowledge-making. The intention is that the process and its outputs can provide a vehicle for deconstructing the remoteness often associated with the aerial perspective—with its connotations of erasing the ambiguities and nuances of the lived experience of a given environment in favour of the absolute and the abstract. In this regard, Waveform is presented as a practical instance of how of airborne imaging and digital sensing might be recast in ways that can resist the prevailing discourses of precision, omniscience, and control that so readily attach to them.

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        Author and article information

        University of York

        TFTV, Baird Lane, Heslington

        York YO10 5GB, UK
        July 2018
        July 2018
        : 367-373
        © Carter. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of EVA London 2018, UK

        This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

        Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
        London, UK
        9 - 13 July 2018
        Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
        Electronic Visualisation and the Arts
        Product Information: 1477-9358 BCS Learning & Development
        Self URI (journal page):
        Electronic Workshops in Computing


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