Press Release

“Anything technological goes down without difficulty with modern man.”
     -C.G. Jung
     Flying Saucers: A Modern Myth of Things Seen in the Skies (1959)

If the comforts of consumer technology in postwar America were shadowed by fears of an equally convenient “Doomsday Button,” [1]  today the efficiencies of technological amenity and annihilation perversely converge in the operating systems of the unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone. 

Drone Kitsch is premised on a hypothetical near-future form of sentimentality, an alienated appeal to the naïve caricatures of telematic warfare encountered in the mundane activities of networked culture. Casual conversations intercepted by smart phone aided fact-checking, text-messaging while driving, and consumer swarms performing market research with their mobile devices, at the request of an online retail giant—these are all viable examples of Drone Kitsch.

In this exhibit, Carl Diehl draws from the rich history of UFO lore to develop speculative models of Drone Kitsch.  At once a repository for technological anxiety, the darling of postwar science fiction and a stylistic mentor to the UAV, Diehl uses the UFO rhetorically as a means for imagining nostalgic objects from an estranged futurity.

[1] Wojcik, Daniel. The End of the World As We Know It : Faith, Fatalism, and Apocalypse in America. New York, NY: New York University Press, 1999. p102-103

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Born in Syracuse New York (1978), Carl Diehl holds a BFA in Art Video from Syracuse University (2000) and a MFA in Digital Art from the University of Oregon (2007). From 2000 to 2003 he was an events programmer at Artists’ Television Access, a media arts space in San Francisco, where he continues to volunteer remotely as a layout and copy editor.  Since 2006, Diehl has been producing a body of work under the title of “Metaphortean Research.” These video essays, installations, performances and publications have been exhibited nationally and internationally at events including: Transmediale in Berlin, the International Symposium of Electronic Art in Singapore and the &Now Festival of New Writing in San Diego. In addition to his independent pursuits, Diehl regularly collaborates with Weird-Fiction, an interdisciplinary arts group, co-founded by Diehl in 2009.  Based in Portland, Carl Diehl teaches at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and the Northwest Film Center.