Corcoran Gallery of Art Announces Exhibition on Drone Warfare

The Corcoran Gallery of Art presents an exhibition on Drone Warfare on view June 19–July 7, 2013.



A Quiet Disposition, an exhibition of five research-based projects by artist, writer, publisher, and technologist James Bridle, on the subject of drone warfare. Bridle uses publicly accessible resources technologies including Google Maps, social networks and installations to investigate, visualize, and call attention to otherwise unexamined information about the worldwide military application of unmanned aerial vehicles. The exhibition will include prints, computer installations, and a model of a “drone identification kit.”

Bridle is known for coining the term “The New Aesthetic,” describing the increasing appearance of the visual language of digital technology and the Internet in the physical world.

The exhibition anticipates the opening of WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath (June 29–September 29, 2013), a landmark exhibition of conflict photography from the Mexican-American War through present-day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The exhibition debuts on the East Coast at the Corcoran.

The title of Bridle’s exhibition refers to “The Disposition Matrix,” a private U.S. government database for generating “capture” and “kill” lists used to implement international drone strikes. A Quiet Disposition impresses upon viewers that, as humans, our actions speak louder than do our words.

Each project of the exhibition—“A Quiet Disposition,” “Watching the Watchers,” “UAV Identification Kit 001,” “Dronestagram,” and “Drone Shadow 004”—addresses a different aspect of how drone warfare is visualized. Monitor displays, mounted prints, and a site-specific installation create a layered experience for the viewer.

Bridle’s work and his articulation of “disposition” exist at the intersection of technology, culture, and warfare. In 2011, he coined the term “New Aesthetic,” which covers a range of strategies that artists use to appropriate digital images in the 21st century. (In NEXT at the Corcoran, the recent exhibition of graduating students’ work, a number of works embraced New Aesthetic themes.) His ongoing research around this subject—reflected in A Quiet Disposition—has been featured and discussed worldwide.

Coinciding with the opening of his Corcoran exhibition, Bridle will present a lecture on his work on June 19 at 7:00 p.m. A reception in Gallery 31 will follow. For more about the exhibition, visit Admission to the exhibition, in the Corcoran’s Gallery 31 exhibition space, is free and open to the public during regular museum hours.