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Story Publication logo December 20, 2014

Drone Country: See America From Above

Author:
Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2014.
English

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

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Pulitzer grantee Tomas van Houtryve's drone series is featured in a print and online feature for Time Magazine.

When a drone looks at a thing, that thing has a way of looking like a target. People become silhouettes at a shooting range. Buildings look vulnerable, their roofs helplessly exposed and defenseless. Most colors disappear, and the remaining blacks, whites and greys evacuate the scene of all human meaning. What we see becomes data: body counts, damage reports, strategic value.

In these photos, shot as part of an ongoing series, Belgian photographer Tomas van Houtryve looks at America through the eyes of a drone, a small quadcopter he bought online and equipped with a high-resolution camera. "A drone seems particularly appropriate because it's increasingly how America views the rest of the world," he says. "I wanted to turn things around. What do we look like from a drone's-eye view? Suspicious? Prosperous? Free and happy?" Every age brings with it new technology for looking at the world. Van Houtryve has embraced the technology of ours.

See the full text and photo essay as featured by Time Magazine.

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