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The Rise of the Drones: Privacy, Power and Storytelling at ICP

Event Date:

May 6, 2015 | 3:28 PM EDT
Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2014.

A drone's-eye view of America reveals the changing nature of war, privacy, and government...

Media file: drones_1.jpg
Baseball practice in Montgomery County, Maryland. The FAA issued 1,428 domestic drone permits between 2007 and early 2013. According to records obtained from the agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. Navy have applied for drone authorization in Montgomery County. Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2014.

Award-winning photojournalist Tomas van Houtryve discusses his drone photography and increasing uses of drones for surveillance and commercial purposes in the U.S. and abroad on Wednesday, May 6 at New York's International Center of Photography.

Van Houtryve joins a panel with E. Adam Attia (a.k.a. ESSAM), geospatial analyst turned photographic artist, and Brandon LaGanke and John Carlucci of GHOST+COW, an award-winning multimedia artist duo. Each of the speakers have explored the boundaries between documentation and surveillance by drones. Stephen Mayes moderates, "The Rise of the Drones: Privacy, Power and Storytelling," exploring the practical and emotional place of drones in the modern world.

Over the past decade, drones have become a weapon used by the U.S. military and the CIA for strikes overseas. Their use for surveillance and commercial purposes is also rapidly expanding both at home and abroad. Van Houtryve attached his camera to a small drone and traveled across America to photograph the very sorts of gatherings that have become habitual targets for foreign air strikes—weddings, funerals, groups of people praying or exercising. He also flew his camera over settings in which drones are used to less lethal effect, such as prisons, oil fields, industrial feedlots, and stretches of the U.S.-Mexico border. The images captured from the drone's perspective engage with the changing nature of war, privacy, and government transparency.

Van Houtryve's Blue Sky Days project, which reveals a drone's-eye view of America, has received several top honors including the 2015 ICP Infinity Award for Photojournalism; Pictures of the Year International Award of Excellence Issue Reporting; White House News Photographers Association First Prize Multimedia; World Press Photo Second Prize Contemporary Issues; and TIME Magazine's Top 10 Photos of 2014.

Van Houtryve's photography and writing often focus on aspects of contemporary warfare and those activities of the modern state that are notable for their near invisibility, such as drones, surveillance, nuclear testing, and Cold War ideology. His work also been featured in solo exhibitions of his work in Paris, New York City, Spain and Italy.

The event is free with registration.

International Center of Photography
The Rise of the Drones: Privacy, Power and Storytelling
7pm - 9pm
ICP School Studio
1114 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY