James Bridle

James Bridle presents work as a writer, publisher, artist and technology theorist. With a long-standing investigative interest in network interactions, both virtual and material, his art is positioned at the intersection between culture and science. Bridle exhibits online and off, often providing some explanation for his research and production process through various episodes of writing, discursive activity and presentations.

Most recently, Bridle has focused his inquiry on addressing the technologies and operations of drone warfare and assassinations. Presenting his work as part of Coded Conduct exhibition at Pilar Corrias, London; at the Brighton Festival, UK; and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, Bridle circumvents the political activist sphere while exposing international campaigns that breach codes of warfare and human rights. The exhibitions focused around drones feature prints, computer generated installations, and a 3D printed UAV Identification Kit 001 – a box which unsettlingly resembles a toy or LEGO container, but is meant to serve as a “drone identification kit.”

The Drone Shadow series further drive the problematics of drone visualization by marking urban and public areas with drone plane outlines. These are playful and severe. The shadows evoke a chalk body outlines that populate film noir investigative crime scenes. The Drone Shadow, however, is incredibly subtle and piercing in its power to arrest attention on a stroll along the pavement. Both in physical presence as well as through documented images these shadows are overhanging memento mori: malignant reminders of our own mortality in the face of overwhelmingly rapid technological advancement.

For some time, Bridle has been fascinated by architectural renderings, the visualisations which appear on the hoardings of building sites. These images promise a future perfectly engineered, technically and socially, populated by the “render ghosts.” These nameless figures which repeat endlessly across cities and continents, are avatars of real and virtual citizens without rights or agency. For Open Heart Surgery, Bridle presents an installation of three flags: an appeal to “Occupy the Cloud.” These are based on protest banners: standards for the render ghost revolt. The work is a response both to recent UK laws that criminalise squatting, and the increasing corporate and governmental restrictions of the public space of the internet. This work continues Bridle’s investigations into the politics of network infrastructure, and the public understanding of technology. James Bridle is born and based in London. He has written for WIRED, ICON, Domus, Cabinet, the Atlantic and many other publications. In 2011, he coined the term “New Aesthetic”, and his ongoing research around this subject has been featured and discussed worldwide. His work, such as the Iraq War Historiography, an encyclopedia of Wikipedia Changelogs, has been exhibited at galleries in the US, Europe and Asia, and has been commissioned by organisations such as Artangel and Mu, Eindhoven. In 2012 he was a Happenstance resident at Lighthouse Gallery, contributed to the Istanbul Design Biennial and Guimaraes 2012 European City of Culture, and was adjunct professor on the Interactive Telecommunications Programme at New York University.