de Sarthe is pleased to announce Ready\Set\Fulfill, a special collaborative project by the gallery's represented artist Andrew Luk and Samuel Swope, a Hong Kong-based artist and technologist. The exhibition is comprised of new artwork, including sculptural and multimedia installations that collectively form a sprawling drone racecourse throughout and around the gallery space. First Person View (FPV) competitive drone races are scheduled to occur during the course of the exhibition. Ready\Set\Fulfill opens 13 March and runs through 8 May.
The emerging sport of FPV drone racing features prominently both as live performance and as recorded video work. The races advance a conversation about humanity's relationship to speed and progress at large. They exemplify Philosopher Paul Virilio's concept of 'dromology,' (the science or logic of speed), a term he coined positing that the development of society and culture is akin to a race—with the fastest competitor being the most successful. Further still, drone racing also collapses the boundaries between man and machine. As pilots wear immersive VR headsets to pilot the drones via onboard cameras, their vision becomes the drones' vision and their movements become the drones' movements. This melding of man and machine manifests the collective desire to transcend our physical, mortal bodies and accelerate towards a more efficient, faster, and cybernetic existence.
Drawing inspiration from Amazon.com Inc.'s patent application for hive-like fulfillment centers, the exhibition also explores the history and future of architecture as well as humanity's relationship to speed and technological progress. Reminiscent of skyscrapers, Amazon's proposed fulfillment centers are intended to be the nexus for a colony of thousands of drones delivering packages at a moment's notice. However, the exhibition addresses not only this vision of the future, but also architecture's long-held fascination with hives. The thinking of renowned architects like Robert Hooke (1635-1703), Antoni Gaudí (1852-1926), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), Le Corbusier (1887-1965), the Metabolism movement, and the Archigram group are all referenced within the installation-cum-race course. Artworks double as obstacles for the drone racecourse and include hanging catenary curves, specially designed 'Gaudi loops,' and more.
The exhibition is intended to be experienced in two ways—one through the eyes of humans, and the other through the lenses of drones. A viewing pit in the center of the gallery, with a six-screen hexagon display allows for the drones' perspective to be live streamed during a race and played on loop during regular exhibition hours. Information regarding races may be publicised at a later date, in keeping with relevant Covid-19 prevention measures.
Press release courtesy de Sarthe.