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Vaughan Wozniak-O'Connor

8-10 December 2020
UNSW Media Futures Hub

Drone Studies: Fused Geospatial and Emotional Response data visualisations.

Drone Studies will be presented on Thursday 10th December at 11am (AEDT) as part of the Drone Methods Panel

This paper focusses on practice-based research conducted as part of an artist residency at Holocenter, New York in 2017. In this residency, a prosumer DJI Mavic drone was used to navigate Governor’s Island. While piloting, Wozniak-O'Connor's emotional response was recorded via Galvanic Skin Response, correlated to individual flights.


Instead of mapping emotional cartographies, my practice-led research uses biofeedback to complicate geospatial data. This suggests an expanded idea of drawing, which parallels the transcriptive associations of gestural drawing. In gestural drawing, the body’s emotional state is transcribed through the hand affect the drawn mark. This configuration of civilian drone tracking and biofeedback data works to a similar extent; using embodied data to intervene into the legibility of geospatial tracking data recorded during drone flights. In doing so, this paper attempts to reemphasize the role of the body within geospatial data, which is largely absent in pervasive geospatial interfaces such as Google Maps. In drone piloting, the body actively produces geospatial route data, which is registered in Keyhole Markup Language as innumerable controller inputs and button toggles. However, the traces of the body are ghosted by the data visualisations, to which Wozniak O'Connor's practice-based research intervenes. By examining practice-experimentation, this paper outline expanded drawing practices that emphasize the presence of the body within emerging drone technologies.

Vaughan Wozniak- O’Connor is an artist and digital holographer based in Sydney.

In particular, his work has explored artist-led approaches to terrain visualisation and geospatial tracking technologies. Recent research has explored the technical and theoretical convergence of terrain and biometric mapping technologies, combining GPS with data from wearable devices such as the Fitbit. Vaughan has exhibited extensively locally at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Carriageworks, C3 Contemporary, Firstdraft Gallery and Casula Powerhouse. International exhibitions and residencies include Holocenter (USA), BKZ Studios (Germany) and Museu da Cidade de Aveiro (Portugal), with grants from Parramatta City Council and MGNSW. He is currently undertaking a PhD Media Art at UNSW Art and Design/Built Environment.


an interdisciplinary


Drone Cultures
Virtual Symposium
8 - 10 December 2020
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