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  • “Drone” Handbook of Ethnographic Film and Video

    Rights statement: 18m

    Submitted manuscript, 31 KB, Word document

    Embargo ends: 1/01/50

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Drones: Visual Anthropology from the Air

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter

Publication date2019
Host publicationHandbook of Ethnographic Film and Video
Original languageEnglish


This book chapter investigates the ethnographies, epistemologies, and ontologies of atmospheres and how atmospheric technologies are deployed in visual anthropology. Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones are epistemological tools for the production of videographical and other sensorial knowledge by anthropologists, archaeologists, and allied fields of natural science, social science, and social justice. Drones--and other atmospheric platforms such as satellites--are anthropologically relevant because of how cultures of visual and technological production evolve around their invention, deployment, and discourses of economic and political power. Lastly, this class of airborne technology is comprised of ontological objects which elevate and extend the human senses into the air, to the edge of the internet, and into entanglements with human and non-human and technological others. Thus, as epistemological, ethnographic, and ontological things drones generate compelling visual and multisensual data, offer opportunities to witness socio-technical cultures, and exist and come into being within a matrix of atmospheres, humans, and non-human agencies.