‘From Above and Below’ brings together a series of investigations into the shifting parameters of contemporary warfare. With the intention to not only convey the position or physical viewpoint — from above — which the state apparatus has been utilizing during modern day conflict, exemplified by the use of armed drones and aerial bombing. In particular this event focuses on the position — from below — mobilising the domestic arena as the platform, material and human register of this perceivable external threat. By exploring this condition the presented works observe a violent interpenetration of private and public spheres, a condition that is intensified by the multi-scalar effects of war.
The proposition for the event is thus to better understand the effect of being positioned ‘From Above and Below’ and to analyse the transformations this doubled condition might create, as it impacts directly upon the sensitive and difficult nature of the territorial subject, especially the human subject within the home.
The Sonic Dimension of Life Under Drones – Susan Schuppli and Tom Tlalin
‘It is a queer experience, lying in the dark and listening to the zoom of a hornet which may at any moment sting you to death. It is a sound that interrupts cool and consecutive thinking about peace. Yes it is a sound – far more than prayers and anthems – that should compel one to think about peace’ From Virginia Woolf ‘Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid’, October 21 1940.
“Home-Image” – Daniel Mann
Traditional ideas of home, homeland and nation have been destabilized, both by new patterns of physical mobility and migration and by communication technologies which routinely transgress the symbolic boundaries around both the private household and the nation state. By critically questioning the circulation of images that frame domestic spaces in Palestine and Israel, this research articulates a political ontology of images that depicts the home both as a shelter and as a volatile war zone. It argues that while images are traditionally understood as representations of actual places, the home, as it is theorized here, is always already a virtual image.
Home is a 3-year shelf-stable pizza – Jesse Connuck
‘Home is a 3-year shelf-stable pizza’ looks at military food rations as a lens for analyzing the ways military power shapes the daily life of soldiers, and the way those soldiers’ ideas of home shape military strategy. Through an examination of the ways food operates in zones of conflict, this research outlines an interest in the politics of cultivating a sense of home and comfort at war, and the biopolitics of government-dictated nutrition.
(De)constructing Risk: A Domestic Image of the Future – Helene Kazan
The domestic space – the home or the house – is the site where a complex range of values converge and where small-scale actions of preparedness or anticipation mediate the effects of risk and its management into a range of affective and experiential registers (realised in the form of taping or re-enforcing outer walls). Expert methods of calculating risk are employed across industry, aimed at producing the best possible forecast in order to sell a calculable danger to clientele. These snapshots of the future are fabricated using algorithms, fears, hopes, conflicting philosophies and historical experience. This work understands the way the domestic arena forms a relationship between risk observed as an abstract calculus (experienced through the real-estate market), and risk felt as a tangible, bodily threat (experienced within the home). Exposing the contradictions operating across these differing modes of risk perception in order to examine the ways in which they contribute to (de)constructing the home as a site of security.
Drone Strike Investigation. Case study no. 2: Mir Ali, North Waziristan, October 4, 2010 – Eyal Weizman
On October 4, 2010, a US drone struck a home in the town of Mir Ali, North Waziristan, in Pakistan, killing five people. One of the surviving witnesses to this attack is a German woman, who lived in the house at the time with her two-year-old boy and her husband. Together with Forensic Architecture, this witness built a digital model of her home, which no longer exists. During a day-long process of computer modeling, the witness slowly reconstructed every architectural element of her house. Placed virtually within the space and time of the attack, the witness was able to recollect and recount the events around the strike.