Grants and residencies

Research and art

Artist-researcher & PhD candidate Faber Jack

154800 €

Autonomous animals in the arts

Tieteellinen tutkimus ja taiteellinen työ / niihin pohjautuva työ | Nelivuotinen

Autonomous Animals is a PhD in the arts researching the ways in which interspecies relations are seen and shaped by surveillance technologies in times of urgency. The research explores the relations forming between humans, animals, A.I. and drones, through the perspective of art, and their representations in moving images. It focuses on the crucial and rapid changes emerging due to the climate and health crises and their different manifestations, such as the Coronavirus pandemic. The study investigates how the growing popularity of drones, originating from the security economy, is fundamentally reshaping interspecies relations. Drones are becoming extremely autonomous as they are being used for asymmetric control in public spaces while assimilating the traits and even shapes of animals (e.g. the Chinese security service use of artificial pigeons to patrol parks and other, more conventional drones were used to remotely scan citizens' body temperature as well as alerting social distancing during the pandemic's first wave). Facing this new reality, the PhD questions how such surveillance-based and cinematic technologies can reframe interspecies relations through perspectives suggested by contemporary art practices. This is done by integrating practice-led artistic work with traditional academic research. In the next 4 years the research is built in a modular format of dissertation chapters, each chapter structured around an artistic experiment. These experiments – such as the publication of a collaborative reader (chapter 1: Eco Noir), an essay film (chapter 2: Dawn of the Drone) or a site-specific installation (chapter 3: We’re Wolves) – also act as study cases for the written chapters. This multidisciplinary project, combining research and art, has a strong international aspect as it involves collaborations with artists, researchers, inventors and institutions from Finland, the Middle East, the Netherlands (UvA), Australia (UoT) and Germany (UDK).