The Cruel Drone

Imagining Drone Warfare in Art, Culture, and Politics

Bidragets oversatte titel: Den grusomme drone: Forestillinger om dronekrig i kunst, kultur og politik

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandlingForskning

40 Downloads (Pure)

Resumé

Denne afhandling undersøger, hvordan militære UAV’er (unmanned aerial vehicles), også kaldet droner, er repræsenteret kulturelt og æstetisk som, hvad jeg kalder ”dronens imaginære” – og desuden hvordan dette imaginære felt afspejler radikale transformationer i krigshistorien. Med imaginationsteorien som begrebsmæssig ramme analyserer jeg dronen som en kulturel konstruktion, der er drevet af ideologiske og politiske fantasier, herunder frem for alt drømmen om udfrielse fra menneskelig sårbarhed og svaghed i krigssituationer.

Hovedtanken med afhandlingen er derfor at analysere, hvordan dronens imaginære bygger på fantasien om det perfekte våben; en fantasi der dog er grusom af natur. Inspireret af Lauren Berlants idé om hvad hun kalder ”cruel optimsism,” er min påstand således, at de sociale og kulturelle forestillinger om dronekrig følger en logik, der kan betegnes som cruel optimsim eller fordansket: ”grusom optimisme.” Det betyder, at genstanden for disse fantasier og forestillinger (altså dronen) reelt set bliver en hindring for sin egen udfoldelse ved aktivt at obstruere de drømme, den ellers lover at indfri. Med andre ord er mit formål at vise, hvordan den populære fascination af droner bygger på fantasier og forestillinger, som er ”grusomme” og selvdestruktive i og med, at de visioner og løfter, de stiller til rådighed om en højere og mere sikker form for krigsførelse, konstant viser sig at fejle.

Hvert af kapitlerne i afhandlingen undersøger, på baggrund af æstetiske analyser, hvordan disse fantasier og løfter igen og igen viser sig som fejlslagne og ufuldkomne. Med en række forskelligartede æstetiske værker (fra litteratur, kunst og drama til film og tv-serier) som prisme analyser jeg denne mørkere side af dronefantasien for derved at afsløre det såkaldte ”supervåbens” indbyggede revner og sprækker. Hver af analyserne viser en bestemt måde, dronen er figureret på i såvel sin optimistiske som sin negative udgave. Det gælder blandt andet den stigende interesse for automatisering af våben, hvorved vi grundlæggende bevæger os uden for menneskelig kontrol og kognitionsevne; det gælder idéen om usårlighed, som også medfører traumer; det gælder drømmen om total overvågning, der samtidig risikerer at medføre såvel analytisk som lagringsmæssigt sammenbrud på grund af mængden af informationer; og endelig gælder det myten om dronens kirurgiske præcision, som i praksis kan ende i uskyldige drab og terrorisering af civile. Således undersøger hvert kapitel én af disse drone-figurationer for dermed at vise, hvordan de er konfigureret i den bredere forestilling om dronekrig.

Baseret på nærlæsningsstrategier kombineret med en tværvidenskabelig teoretisk tilgang giver afhandlingen dermed et nyt indblik i et stadigt hurtigere voksende forskningsområde, der dog hidtil primært har været fokuseret på politiske, juridiske og etiske aspekter af dronekrig. Eftersom også den humanistiske gren af dette forskningsområde har rettet sig mod især visuelle og kunstneriske repræsentationer af dronekrig og mindre mod de mere imaginære, litterære og narrative konstruktioner og konfigurationer af samme genstandsfelt, vil jeg derfor hævde, at jeg med afhandlingen bidrager med et alternativt blik på et relativt uudforsket del af den kulturelle droneimagination.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
ForlagSyddansk Universitet. Institut for Kulturvidenskaber
Antal sider218
StatusUdgivet - 7. jun. 2019

Fingeraftryk

earning a doctorate
warfare
art
politics
figuration
aesthetics
weapon
optimism
liberation
automation
compromise
trauma
myth
legitimacy
vulnerability
Military
imagination
history

Emneord

  • droner
  • dronekrig
  • droner og æstetik
  • droner og medier
  • krig og underholdning
  • krig og film
  • krig og æstetik
  • krigshistorie
  • krigstraumer

Citer dette

Graae, A. I. (2019). The Cruel Drone: Imagining Drone Warfare in Art, Culture, and Politics. Syddansk Universitet. Institut for Kulturvidenskaber.
Graae, Andreas Immanuel. / The Cruel Drone : Imagining Drone Warfare in Art, Culture, and Politics. Syddansk Universitet. Institut for Kulturvidenskaber, 2019. 218 s.
@phdthesis{fc12e0f8e3d84fcf8127c1c89cf9da0a,
title = "The Cruel Drone: Imagining Drone Warfare in Art, Culture, and Politics",
abstract = "This dissertation investigates how military UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles), or so-called drones, are represented within the aesthetic field as a “drone imaginary,” reflecting radical changes in the history of warfare. Using the imaginary as a conceptual framework, the drone is analyzed as a cultural construct fueled with ideological and political imagination, including, above all, promises of liberation from the burdens and vulnerabilities of human lives and bodies in war. The main goal of the dissertation is to critically analyze how the drone imaginary builds on a fantasy of the perfect weapon which is, essentially, cruel. Drawing on Lauren Berlant’s thoughts and ideas, my claim is therefore that the social and cultural imagination of drone warfare follows a logic of cruel optimism. This means that the object for these desires, the drone, becomes an obstacle for its own flourishing by actively impeding the goal it promises to fulfill. In other words, my aim is to show how the popular attachment to drones is formed by fantasies and imaginations that are “cruel” in so far as they compromise themselves and obstruct their aims through a negative feedback loop, which constantly negates the promises these very same machines seem able to deliver on regarding a higher and safer mode of warfare.Each of the chapters in the dissertation contains examples that demonstrate how these fantasies and promises in turn prove to be flawed or imperfect. Using the realm of aesthetics as prism, the analyses expose the darker side of this drone imagination focusing on its inherent cracks and frailties that altogether undermine the legitimacy as well as soundness of the fantasy of the drone as a new wonder-weapon. For instance, the analyses show how figurations of drone automation is uncannily non-human; how drone invincibility also entail trauma; how dreams of total vision become blurred by immensity; and how the myth of surgical precision ends up as carnage. Thus, each chapter specifically examines one of these drone figurations in order to show how they are con-figured into the larger drone imaginary.Based on strategies of close-reading in combination with a cross-disciplinary conceptual approach, the dissertation offers new insights to the rapidly growing field of academic drone research. While this field has, however, so far mostly focused on the political, juridical, and ethical aspects of drone warfare and less on imaginary, literary, and aesthetic constructions and configurations vibrating beneath these debates, the dissertation contributes with an alternative cultural drone imaginary.",
keywords = "droner, dronekrig, droner og {\ae}stetik, droner og medier, krig og underholdning, krig og film, krig og {\ae}stetik, krigshistorie, krigstraumer",
author = "Graae, {Andreas Immanuel}",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
day = "7",
language = "English",
publisher = "Syddansk Universitet. Institut for Kulturvidenskaber",

}

Graae, AI 2019, The Cruel Drone: Imagining Drone Warfare in Art, Culture, and Politics. Syddansk Universitet. Institut for Kulturvidenskaber.

The Cruel Drone : Imagining Drone Warfare in Art, Culture, and Politics. / Graae, Andreas Immanuel.

Syddansk Universitet. Institut for Kulturvidenskaber, 2019. 218 s.

Publikation: Bog/antologi/afhandling/rapportPh.d.-afhandlingForskning

TY - BOOK

T1 - The Cruel Drone

T2 - Imagining Drone Warfare in Art, Culture, and Politics

AU - Graae, Andreas Immanuel

PY - 2019/6/7

Y1 - 2019/6/7

N2 - This dissertation investigates how military UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles), or so-called drones, are represented within the aesthetic field as a “drone imaginary,” reflecting radical changes in the history of warfare. Using the imaginary as a conceptual framework, the drone is analyzed as a cultural construct fueled with ideological and political imagination, including, above all, promises of liberation from the burdens and vulnerabilities of human lives and bodies in war. The main goal of the dissertation is to critically analyze how the drone imaginary builds on a fantasy of the perfect weapon which is, essentially, cruel. Drawing on Lauren Berlant’s thoughts and ideas, my claim is therefore that the social and cultural imagination of drone warfare follows a logic of cruel optimism. This means that the object for these desires, the drone, becomes an obstacle for its own flourishing by actively impeding the goal it promises to fulfill. In other words, my aim is to show how the popular attachment to drones is formed by fantasies and imaginations that are “cruel” in so far as they compromise themselves and obstruct their aims through a negative feedback loop, which constantly negates the promises these very same machines seem able to deliver on regarding a higher and safer mode of warfare.Each of the chapters in the dissertation contains examples that demonstrate how these fantasies and promises in turn prove to be flawed or imperfect. Using the realm of aesthetics as prism, the analyses expose the darker side of this drone imagination focusing on its inherent cracks and frailties that altogether undermine the legitimacy as well as soundness of the fantasy of the drone as a new wonder-weapon. For instance, the analyses show how figurations of drone automation is uncannily non-human; how drone invincibility also entail trauma; how dreams of total vision become blurred by immensity; and how the myth of surgical precision ends up as carnage. Thus, each chapter specifically examines one of these drone figurations in order to show how they are con-figured into the larger drone imaginary.Based on strategies of close-reading in combination with a cross-disciplinary conceptual approach, the dissertation offers new insights to the rapidly growing field of academic drone research. While this field has, however, so far mostly focused on the political, juridical, and ethical aspects of drone warfare and less on imaginary, literary, and aesthetic constructions and configurations vibrating beneath these debates, the dissertation contributes with an alternative cultural drone imaginary.

AB - This dissertation investigates how military UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles), or so-called drones, are represented within the aesthetic field as a “drone imaginary,” reflecting radical changes in the history of warfare. Using the imaginary as a conceptual framework, the drone is analyzed as a cultural construct fueled with ideological and political imagination, including, above all, promises of liberation from the burdens and vulnerabilities of human lives and bodies in war. The main goal of the dissertation is to critically analyze how the drone imaginary builds on a fantasy of the perfect weapon which is, essentially, cruel. Drawing on Lauren Berlant’s thoughts and ideas, my claim is therefore that the social and cultural imagination of drone warfare follows a logic of cruel optimism. This means that the object for these desires, the drone, becomes an obstacle for its own flourishing by actively impeding the goal it promises to fulfill. In other words, my aim is to show how the popular attachment to drones is formed by fantasies and imaginations that are “cruel” in so far as they compromise themselves and obstruct their aims through a negative feedback loop, which constantly negates the promises these very same machines seem able to deliver on regarding a higher and safer mode of warfare.Each of the chapters in the dissertation contains examples that demonstrate how these fantasies and promises in turn prove to be flawed or imperfect. Using the realm of aesthetics as prism, the analyses expose the darker side of this drone imagination focusing on its inherent cracks and frailties that altogether undermine the legitimacy as well as soundness of the fantasy of the drone as a new wonder-weapon. For instance, the analyses show how figurations of drone automation is uncannily non-human; how drone invincibility also entail trauma; how dreams of total vision become blurred by immensity; and how the myth of surgical precision ends up as carnage. Thus, each chapter specifically examines one of these drone figurations in order to show how they are con-figured into the larger drone imaginary.Based on strategies of close-reading in combination with a cross-disciplinary conceptual approach, the dissertation offers new insights to the rapidly growing field of academic drone research. While this field has, however, so far mostly focused on the political, juridical, and ethical aspects of drone warfare and less on imaginary, literary, and aesthetic constructions and configurations vibrating beneath these debates, the dissertation contributes with an alternative cultural drone imaginary.

KW - droner

KW - dronekrig

KW - droner og æstetik

KW - droner og medier

KW - krig og underholdning

KW - krig og film

KW - krig og æstetik

KW - krigshistorie

KW - krigstraumer

M3 - Ph.D. thesis

BT - The Cruel Drone

PB - Syddansk Universitet. Institut for Kulturvidenskaber

ER -

Graae AI. The Cruel Drone: Imagining Drone Warfare in Art, Culture, and Politics. Syddansk Universitet. Institut for Kulturvidenskaber, 2019. 218 s.