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Drone Kitsch

December 22, 2011

One and the same bloated (polter)zeitgeist coughs up simultaneously two such things as a domestic drone program and downloadable secret shopper app,  or a loitering UAV and a lingering UFO fetish.

All four vie for our attention, and are, ostensibly, Rothsteinian ‘drone ethnographies.‘ With contextual contours of para-fact, para-fiction, para-military and the para-normal, one wonders if the connection engines that could, won’t instead just sputter to a halt—para-lyzed by prefixations.

A drone domesticated for surveillance along borderlines and an app tailored for reconaissance along bottom lines– what perspective on the networked cosmos is (a)wry enough to enable us to situate them in relation to each other?  Alas, anamorphoses, too, are hard pressed to (find) work in a network economy!

Constellations of coherency, amidst continuous partial attention, might well mirror the actions of radicalized zombie sats, truly this scenario also hints at a worldview beset by non-lineation.  Vertical disintegrations. In any case, where there can be an avante-garde meandering now for half a century, a slow-motion momentum,  an antagonism towards ambushes, the delayed arrival of a possible future still looms.

Panopticonfident teenage swarms, arguably, but certainly the DARPA dynasties will suffice. In contrast, we find an aspiring razzle-dazzle approach, a ‘rear guard,’ out there, hidden in plain sight.

Enter the Dragon(drop), enter the tele-prescient modes of engagement, a simultaneous cultural phenomenon appears to which we will continue to tactically (if also tacitly) extract  Greenbergian insights, reconnoiter and in all ways already apply them under the aegis of Drone Kitsch: curiously unmanned memetic vehicles, weird and design fiction, arrogant apps, killer apps, near future sci-fi, spy-fi and why-fi, if not the 99% in swarm-formation. Heir apparent of the cryptozoological set,  this “gigantic apparition” patrolling the landscapes of the global mind.


Henceforth, Drone Kitsch, in its own abominable ways , may amount to an unnamable aerial vehicle. A strategic ambiguity, or a mis-ambiguation of things seen in the sky, or on Facebook, or, at any rate,  an “unmanning” of sorts, a derelict theory object of sorts. An intermediate technology in the Fortean sense, or a tele-prescient gesture of good will for a coming future void of empathetic urges.

Drone Kitsch, gleaning raw data from the proverbial leaky wiki, the derelict vaporware of this and the other information scientist, the cybernetic unconscious, or that which a winged memex might perpetrate by night.  Of un-homogenized projectiles skimming the surface of gray markets or in the wake of another difference that makes a difference, and so on.

Lo and behold: Drone Kitsch is vicarious, it is experience, it is fake and it is sensational. Drone Kitsch pretends to command no attention, the poor person’s infrared, a continually partial veneer.

Drone Kitsch makes itself up in the military industrial complexions of “devices, tricks, stratagems, rules of thumb, themes,” coverts them into cosmetically enhanced surgical strikes.  Drone Kitsch is nebulized into a fine-spray, deodorant, a perfumed metal.  It operates by way of cultural viruses, unmanned para-sights, downloaded in the fumbled keystrokes of a distracted operator, or by unrepentant gamers who have slyly quit their day job while still being a nuisance at work.

Drone Kitsch may be the epitome of all that is not necessarily mediated by a screen but which remains negotiated by distances emotional, rhetorical, psychological, other rogue (mind)states what have you.

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