(rayz judy-cot-ah) n. Latin, : [A matter judged] the legal doctrine meant to bar continued litigation of a case.
Res Judicata stands at the intersection of public art and digital technology, this project brings the presence of drone warfare to the center of populated urban areas with the depiction of 1:1 scale large, black, silhouette-like shadows around the United States and the globe. These photographic works are representations of the earth as seen from above through Google Earth and other web-based mapping platforms that have spontaneously captured the presence of drones flying overhead. These shadows are the accidental trace of the surveillance state, the fingerprints of an unknown military presence that despite all efforts at secrecy and concealment the simple laws of the physical world shed light upon in the most subtle of ways. With Res Judicata distributed around the globe users of everyday mapping technology will begin to see their digital worlds change as these representations of a new era in human existence are absorbed into the imagery we use to navigate our homes, calling to mind the increasing presence of aerial surveillance technology and bringing to question societies use of the drone.
86 countries currently operate drones that are deployed around the world giving aerial surveillance coverage of nearly all populated regions of the earth, 19 of which have or are acquiring armed drone technology for remote targeted assassination programs like that of the CIA and USAF. Meanwhile, the drone dialogue largely precludes public discourse over policies that grant authority to law enforcement and government agencies to secretly add this controversial surveillance tool to their arsenal. The drone, with its broad spectrum of uses, is a perfect vehicle for a public dialogue not only on the implications of widespread aerial surveillance but on the way in which we as a society interact with and use technology. Res Judicata’s intervention into our everyday digital spaces will continue my organic engagement with audiences in this new frontier. It is through this unexpected interaction with the viewer where an opportunity for reflection is possible, opening the door to a shift in conscious understanding of our surroundings.