DRONE DRAMA: Music for the Dead video 2016-2017 addresses what it is to be human in the age of the drone. Based on the eleven chapter album by Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt. Filmed on the San Francisco Peninsula.
Each chapter examines local culture affected by corporations that drive income disparity, homelessness, environmental degradation and social upheaval on the San Francisco Peninsula for two decades. California is the world’s fifth largest economy. The state’s prosperity, derived from the wealth of early Spanish missions, the greatest WWII shipyards, and Vietnam War munitions companies, morphed into the current defense contract corporations. These corporations develop communications, bio-tech medicine, social platforms, military technology, and the country’s infrastructure.
Chapter 1. ‘I love watching the movement of your limbs when they tremble from the wind’s gentle caress.’ Filmed on the full moon summer solstice four hundred miles away from Aliso Canyon gas storage that was leaking a methane plume visible from space into the air for four months in 2016. It was one of the worst unreported environmental disasters in U.S. history.
Chapter 2. ‘Things that never die have never lived.’ Found online war video and war explosions posted as entertainment.
Chapter 3. ‘Music for the Dead’ examines domestic violence and it’s connection to collective anger.
Chapter 4. Offerings of the Oracle examines two repositories of knowledge and prediction in split screen. An online psychic-oracle, descendent of transgender shaman who used mask, costume, mood, and herbs to find answers within and in nature for the survival of tribe. And Oracle software corporation, a militarized knowledge editor named after it’s first CIA contract, their headquarters, salt pond and Oracle Team USA American Cup Challenger.
Chapter 5. ‘People build fences to keep people out and other people build fences to keep people in,’ presents the ‘surveillance eye,’ by drone at the coast near Pedro Rock where the US government patrols for foreign invasion, and by design of San Francisco Alcatraz prison, to keep prisoners imprisoned.
Chapter 6. ‘If you are not a fish, how can you tell if the fish are happy?’ Addressing the dilemma of knowledge at the precipice of nuclear and environmental disaster, in the age of drones, Chapter 6 considers the relevance of ancient dialogue of knowledge to contemporary digital information practice. It Filmed Asian Gardens, San Francisco.
Chapter 7. ‘Only the Sufferers Know How their Bellies Ache.’ San Francisco early March 2017. Winter storms prevented filming for weeks. By the time rain stopped, I learned San Francisco city was removing the north side of the freeway camps where the homeless ‘drug-users’ lived. The south side, the ‘non-drug-users-just-homeless’ side, was visibly frantic about the possibility of losing their much cleaner camps. “…it’s a game,” a man said drinking beer, with his canoe and giant teddy bear, waiting for the city workers and police to leave. San Francisco Peninsula housing is the highest in the nation due to the inflated salaries of Silicon Valley tech workers. The link between homelessness, drone warfare and military contracted technology corporations is a straight line.
Chapter 8. ‘Kind Words Conquer.’ I asked people to say, ‘I Love You.’
Chapter 9. ‘When Eating the Fruit, Remember the One Who Planted the Tree.’ San Francisco Botanical Gardens, San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco Potrero Seed Library, Shelldance Orchid Gardens.
Chapter 10. ‘I slept on your side of the bed because the pillow smells like you,’ contemplates love and loss in the age of the drone.
Chapter 11. ‘If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing,’ suggests consciousness as path to transformation and change. Filmed at the NODAPL 2016 Berkeley Indigenous Day. Military prints depicting the 300,000 Northern California Indian genocide lined the walls of the hotel where I stayed for the night.
Cotuit Center for the Arts, selected video including Drone Drama: Music for the Dead Chapter 1 and 10
Acud Macht Neu Berlin DRONE DRAMA: Music for the Dead, August 2020
Chapter 10 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead, Loophole Berlin, Germany 2019
Chapter 10 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead, Primal Uproar III, Hamburg, Germany
Chapter 9 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead, Interalia Magazine
Chapter 10 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead, Magmart Video Festival
Drone Drama 2016, Traumathek, Cologne, Germany
Chapter 6 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead Edit