ARTS & CULTURE
02/12/2013 09:49 am ET Updated Mar 08, 2013

Mr. Drones App: Rajeev Basu Creates Web Application That Lets You Customize Your Own UAV, And More Arts News

A new web application called Mr. Drones is allowing internet users to design their very own unmanned armed vehicles. Created by interactive artist Rajeev Basu, the site is a combination of Google Street View voyeurism and Microsoft Paint, in which a virtual drone rendering -- set amidst the backdrop of any location you can find on a map -- becomes a customizable canvas. You can spray paint, doodle, or write on your blank UAV, turning the deadly missile into a benign piece of internet art.

The strange arts-meets-military intrigue project is certainly an interesting way of appropriating themes from current events, while highlighting the undefined utility of these stealth machines. “I think most us are still pretty detached from the reality of drones," Basu said in an interview with The Creator's Project. "Pretty soon these affordable, powerful, mini chunks of metal and plastic that think for themselves will be flying over our heads. They might be helping our police, or delivering a package, or whatever."

What do you think: Is Basu on to something? If you want to see more images, you can check out the artist's offshoot project, "Drones of New York," which is the subject of a month-long exhibit at The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, involving 13 international designers and the institute's DVD Dead Drop initiative.

[h/t Discovery]

PHOTO GALLERIES
More from The Museum of the Moving Image

MORE ARTS NEWS

Will Singapore Allow Disruptive Art?: Singapore, a country known for its strict street-side regulations including a ban on chewing gum, may be seeing a increase in avant-garde art with the creation of Art Stage Singapore and the contemporary art complex, Gillam Barracks. But can art flourish in the nation's notoriously controlled environment? "You are in the most educated country in the region, the richest in the region, and yet you can’t speak freely,” says Valentine Willie, a Malaysian art dealer. “Art as commodity is their model.” (The Daily Beast)

Billionaire Ronald Perelman Still Feuds With Art Dealer Larry Gagosian Over Popeye: Perelman is suing Gagosian on the grounds that the mammoth art dealer overvalued an unfinished Jeff Koons sculpture of Popeye. A judge will soon decide what the piece's value should be, but here's what L.A. Times writer Crispin Sartwell has to say: "My own view is that it is worth precisely what its component materials are worth, or perhaps a bit less, due to the costs that would be incurred in hauling it away and melting it down or crushing it." Ouch. (The Los Angeles Times)

W.A.G.E. Criticizes dOCUMENTA For Not Compensating Exhibiting Artists: The New York-based art activist group Working Artists and the Greater Economy has taken issue with the giant German art exhibition dOCUMENTA and its decision not to pay participating artists... So they made an "infomercial-dramedy." (Hyperallergic)

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