Drone Warfare : Visual Primacy as a Weapon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter


This paper articulates drone warfare through a critical analysis of an actual drone operation and a study into its developing technologies. The first chapter moves through a discussion of the intervening role of the camera as described by Walter Benjamin and societal perspective of visual reproduction technology. This discussion then departs from the mechanical to the digital realm of realtime video, utilizing theory of Paul Virilio. The second chapter focuses on developing technologies within drone warfare such as the multi camera Gorgon Stare program. This highlights the movement towards an industrialized mode of perception and the increasing use of automated vision and the role of visual pattern recognition in warfare tactics such the use of 'signature strikes'. In studying the empirical evidence of drone technology and operations, it reveals a reorganization of military space based on visuality and a transformation in modes of perception.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Visual Arts


  • machine vision, Military Vision, Mind's Eye, Industrialization of Vision, Networked War, Drone Warfare, Darpa, Visuality, Paul Virilio, War on Terror, Uav, Gorgon Stare, Signature Strikes
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTrans Visuality : The cultural dimension of visuality Vol. 2 : Visual Organizations
EditorsFrauke Wiegand, Anders Michelsen, Tore Kristensen
PublisherLiverpool University Press
ISBN (Print)9781781381786
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Publication series


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