Bug splat: the art of the drone

Alexander Danchev

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)


This review article considers a variety of artworks, including stories, poems, plays, photographs and films, to explore what ‘drone art’ or ‘drone aesthetics’ can tell us about the politics and ethics of drone operations or drone warfare. The article finds that the politics and the ethics are troublesome and troubling; and that the art illuminates some important issues, through the focus on the drone pilot or operator, and, more fundamentally, through the exposure of what has been called an ‘empathy gap’. The attention paid to the drone operator is admirable, as far as it goes. It has unquestionably served to demystify drone operations, and in a certain sense to humanize drone warfare. Democracy is founded upon visibility. To see the drone, it will be necessary to capture it, and contemplate it, from different points of view.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-713
Number of pages90
JournalInternational Affairs
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


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