Hawk & Dove
Hawk & Dove (2012), digital video, 17m
Streffen’s two drones – she calls them “dirigibles” – are more akin to simplified versions of 1930s-styled Zeppelin balloons than B-2s, of course.
Their technical simplicity, and grace, in complete contrast to the vehicles being commissioned in the vicinity, is precisely their purpose.
Their only distinguishing feature is a single, shapely logotype with a single word on. The words ‘hawk’ and ‘dove’ are not merely written, but form corporate logos similar to those of thrusting aeronautical giants. The logos, whilst naming political positions, clearly have backers making noises off-stage, who are certainly not to be seen or heard.
Alistair Robinson, “Isabella Streffen: Fieldcraft”, Magnificent Distance (2012) ISBN 978-0-9573425-0-7
Hawk & Dove was commissioned as part of the 5×5 public art festival in Washington DC, 2012 and saw two remote-controlled zeppelins mounted with miniature cameras exploring the iconic spaces of Washington DC’s Library of Congress and Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library. The resulting film, which revealed the power plays inherent in the control of knowledge, was screened at the Library of Congress and on an architectural scale at MLK Library, and as part of ‘Magnificent Distance’ at Globe Gallery in Newcastle upon Tyne in August 2012.
Commissioned by DCAAH, supported by Arts Council England. Artist: Isabella Streffen. Curator: Richard Hollinshead.