Guardian Launches Digital Art Series With “Pussy Drones” GIFs

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An animated GIF from Addie Wagenknecht's "Pussy Drones" series.
Courtesy the artist.

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Leave it to one of the world’s oldest newspapers to leap head first into commissioning digital art. The UK’s Guardian has launched what it is labeling as a “Digital art takeover,” which is being curated by music video director Chris Milk.

The first entries include the interactive art app Patatap, a never-ending roller-coaster animation, an essay by Milk on the influence of digital art on his music videos, and, best of all, a series of animated GIFs by Austria-based American artist Addie Wagenknecht in which flying cats bomb targets including a bucolic Thomas Kinkade landscape, the Facebook headquarters, and Walmart. The series is titled “Pussy Drones.”

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“The ‘Pussy Drones’ series explores a new form of discourse between the web-based experience (lolzcat, memes, GIFs) and historically closed systems which control the physical world (finance, supply/demand chains, marriage),” Wagenknecht explains on her site. “In theory the democratic nature of the Internet allows everyone to create equally, controlling its root at an open [peer-to-peer] level. Yet the Internet­, net art, and the very essence of the web (programming, the code structure itself) is still ruled by men. The web has never been a democratic medium.”

Wagenknecht positions her work not only as a commentary on the gendered power dynamics of the Internet and capitalism, but also of art history.

“The reality of the sexual dynamic between traditionally male and female objects is institutionally quieted when presented as fine art, even though the work is in front of us,” she explains. “Making direct formal connections between art and power is not merely an exercise in copy left but perhaps a bit of conversation between the mediation of the same object across social implications.”

Stay tuned to the Guardian‘s “Digital art takeover” for more outrageous web art works.


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