.::..Nicholas Sagan..::. …:.::..artworks and experiments…::.:…nicholassagan@gmail.com

For the Love of…

In 2012-13 I was awarded a HATCH Projects residency at the Chicago Artists Coalition and I made it a goal to generate new work. Not just explorations of familiar topics but the complete investment in a totally new line of inquiry. In particular I had been interested in the public conversation of UAV, or drone, warfare. As complex a topic as it is, I chose to address certain aspects: general perception as well as what it means for surveillance tactics and technology, a portending of a particular existential state, or even as an extension of my hobby practice of scale modeling.

The phenomenon of the air show also holds my interest for a number of reasons, paralleling the UAV explorations. As these technologies develop, so does the conversation surrounding these tools. This is a paradox: how can something exist both as a tool to propagate the theater of war and as a function of cultural/global relevancy in a rapidly expanding technological ecosystem? With the case of For the Love of… — an installation composed of hundreds of various scales of MQ-9 Reaper UAVs (or drones) and a wireless surveillance and projection system — I was curious about the nature of public awareness of these issues. Another aspect of developing these ideas was to gauge viewers’ response to the rise of these systems of surveillance. At first entering the installation space, the view might notice the swarms of drones and think back to boyhood bedrooms with model airplanes hanging about. But as they wander further in they might notice a pattern to the swarm; that the viewer is being herded. The climax, so to speak, of the experience is the realization that they are being watched, though the ubiquity of the UAV’s prevents a pinpointing of source of surveillance.

6x 1/48 scale MQ-9 Reaper UAVs (16″ wingspan)
10x 1/72 scale MQ-9 Reaper UAVs (12″ wingspan)
130x 1/144 scale MQ-9 Reaper UAVs (4″ wingspan)
3x Surveillance Video Cameras and system
DVD Player


A group exhibition by HATCH Projects Residents
Noelle Allen, Theodore Darst, Brent Fogt, Jordan Martins, Nicholas Sagan, and Matthew Schlagbaum
Curated by HATCH Curatorial Resident MK Meador

The works in Natural Fallacy delve into the tensions of power and dominance between humans and their natural surroundings. The title of this exhibition is derived from naturalistic fallacy, which is part of a more widely referenced family of logical gaffes such as the red herring, ad hominem and false cause.

One version of the naturalistic fallacy has to do with the erroneous attribution that simply because something is natural or close to nature, it is true. Objects or conditions that possess natural causes or effects are presumed to have more truth, and those which are human-made are seemingly artificial.

The collection of works in this exhibition question this logic through a variety of media – from the vaguely violent forms of Noelle Allen’s sculptural installation, to the collaged camouflage in Jordan Martins’ images, new video work from Theodore Darst, and the swarm of drones in Nicholas Sagan’s installation. Additionally, Matthew Schlagbaum presents a view into a mini-world that could be described as entirely artificially natural. In a similar manner, Brent Fogt’s collaged rain drawings are a hypnotic study of man’s hand at manipulating nature.

In literature and storytelling, there are three paradigms for conflict: human vs. human, human vs. self, and human vs. nature. Each artist addresses the struggle of the latter in their work and taken together, the show serves as a framework for the conflict between human and nature.


<<<This installation is also featured in a catalog and online exhibition format presented by v1b3 (video for the built environment). You can check out the project website here or download the PDF catalog here.>>>

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