Things Fall Apart: A Predator Drone in Djibouti

Not only do the pictures of the wrecked drone puncture the mystique of the infallible ’unblinking eye in the sky’, they direct us to the history of Western imperialism in the region.


A Little Bit False and a Little Bit True: Aby Warburg and his Mnemosyne Atlas

There is no such thing as the finality of the past. It cannot be boxed up, put on a shelf, and studied by curious historians who somehow operate outside of it. I don’t think Aby Warburg understood this when he began to study Hopi Native Americans, an endeavour he would later credit with providing him invaluable knowledge about the European Renaissance and Ancient Greece. I think that before his interactions with the Hopi, Warburg was a man, sickly and made bored by Civilisation, travelling at the turn of the 19th century through the American West to territory that had yet to be terraformed by telegraph wires. I think he still believed that the academic tools provided to him by ‘progress’ would afford him the ability to discover history, the way one discovers a fossil or a missing set of keys. He was young.

How Technology, Space and Place Affect Song Writing

The idea that context determines what music is recorded, played and sung is both obvious and extremely counter intuitive. We don’t normally notice the way that music evolves in response to changes in technology and the spaces in which it is listened to. This doesn’t mean that artists are not reacting creatively and artistically to these changes but merely that their creativity is embedded in its context. What worries me, however, is that the rise of recording and modern technology has undermined their creative control.

By Matteo Tiratelli