“The Medium is the Message”
This painting addresses the deep unrest I feel about our government's increasing use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's or drones) to assassinate people we assert are a threat to us and our interests. We assert that we have intelligence linking to the Taliban or Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Our government takes these actions in secret and don't acknowledge publicly that they are taking them.
There appears to be no check on our government's executive power to kill anyone, anywhere in the world we deem a threat.
I completed this piece in response to the Brehm Lectures. The day after I completed it this week Israel launched their offensive near Gaza. Not only have they made heavy use of UAV missile strikes for targeted assassinations openly, but they have been using twitter to post links to video from the drone strikes and Photoshopped images of people they have killed listing the alleged crimes for which they have been judged and executed - their faces rendered in red.
Shane Hipps, Barry Taylor and Ryan Bolger discussed Marshall Mcluhan's assertion that all technology is an extension of one or more human senses. We are now witnessing an extension of not just our senses but our agency to kill with the technology of UAV's and the strikes they enable and justify. The fact of our being able to do them is being mistaken for a value or moral imperative to do them. The minimized "collateral damage," to nearby women, children and other unintended targets is taken as a supporting argument.
I object to people killing people. I especially object to governments killing people. I object even more when they do it without any check on that power and without transparent oversight. Secret courts don't count as a check precisely because they are secret.
We have extended our selves to our great moral, ethical, economic and human peril.
Matthew Lumpkin is a polymath. That's all he wanted his bio to say. If you want to know more, visit his website where you can learn about the music he makes, the talks he gives, the images he sketches, and the conversations he is starting.