George Barber: The Freestone Drone
George Barber rose to prominence in the 1980s as a pioneer of the Scratch Video movement, with works like Tilt (1984), Absence of Satan and Yes Frank No Smoke (both 1985), which sampled clips from Hollywood films, using the untried sampling technology of the day to create an unprecedented orchestration of sound, vision, repeat edits and rhythm. Since then, Barber has developed a large and varied body of work, incorporating found footage, performative monologues and narrative films.
Chapter is delighted to present an ambitious solo exhibition entitled ‘George Barber: Akula Dream’ and this artwork is an image taken from the film The Freestone Drone (2013).
The Freestone Drone’s central motif is a ‘talking drone’ – who has self-esteem and guilt issues. The piece follows a poetic mission from the point of view of a young innocent drone. Like a child he surveys cityscapes, encounters individuals, reports, and ultimately becomes aware of his own utility and destiny. The video combines found and made footage to produce an uneasy, seductive montage, anchored on the drone’s private thoughts. Engendered with human consciousness and independence, the Freestone Drone is a poet who disobeys orders and does his own thing, a child within a machine.
The Freestone Drone proposes the meeting place of poetry and philosophy as a site to consider contemporary ethical and political concerns. Ultimately, Barber’s work underlines the fact that technologies - and in particular modes of warfare - are symptomatic of the way we understand ourselves in the modern world.
George Barber: Akula Dream is presented as part of ‘Looking For America: Diffusion - Cardiff International Festival of Photography’, 1-31 October 2015. Taking place in venues across Cardiff and beyond, the festival sees a month-long programme of exhibitions, interventions, screenings, performances, events and celebrations in both physical and virtual spaces and places.
More information: diffusionfestival.org