Digifest: conference and creative masterclass with drone

9 May 2015. Published by Benoît Labourdette.
Temps de lecture : 2 min  

Conference on creativity with drone of filmmaking masterclass with drone.

As part of the 2015 edition of Digifest Festival in Toronto, on the theme “Privacy, money, pleasure: learn how technology is changing everyday life”, I gave a conference about image issues and audiovisual creativity with drone and a masterclass for creating a collective film with drone.

Conference: “Drone as a creative tool for movie making”

I developed my assumptions around the image taken with drone, namely two main issues to my mind :

  • Political issue : pictures from top views are, for the moment, banned from creation to everyone, and yet they structure our representations of the world, so our political thought. Reclaiming this view, thanks to the drone accessible to all, is back to power.
  • Philosophical Issue : images made by the drones are disembodied, “virtual” because there is no operator behind the shooting unit. Images are no longer a translation from our eyes, they are produced by another look, autonomous, the look of the software. Our real world is thus increasingly represented in the same manner as virtual worlds. Singular paradigm shift of gaze, which is changing the philosophical representation of the world, so the futures world itself.

I have illustrated the development of these assumptions by the screening of a large number of excerpts from my films shot with drone (which you can find on this site). Because these concepts are to me experimental subjects. My job is to create art to question the changes of representations due in particular to new technical tools and their uses, and intervene concretely.

Masterclass: “Making a movie with a drone”

The masterclass was in half a day with a group of about twenty people, to put into action the thought developed the day before during the conference.

The steps of work :

  • We tested indoor flying drone and the resulting images, with James Eaton, society X4 Drones who was flying his own DIY drone.
  • From those tests, we brainstormed to imagine what movie we could do collectively, in sequence-shot. It was going to be a film in sequence-shot, shot outside, next to Lake Ontario. Everyone was going to be an actor, and we would set up a kind of choreography, with a canvas.
  • *Then we shot the film in one take. It was possible for me, as there was no sound recording (the drone caused a stir, and, anyway, if very far !), to provide guidance during the shooting.
  • We came back in the room to watch the film.
  • Then we saw it again, doing a live audio recording, each participant taking part, either by talking, making sounds or music. Because time is short enough, I was a little “conductor” of the moment, by gestural indications and by the movement of the audio recorder.

The resulting film is visible here.

You can also view an interview that was made by the Consulate General of France team in Toronto, where I summarize the conference and masterclass.

At the end of the masterclass, each participant received a little drone !

Digifest team

  • Luigi Ferrara
  • Alice Lee
  • Simon Rabyniuk
  • Natasha Basacchi
  • Desmond Yeung
  • Richelle Sibolboro

With the support of the Consulate General of France in Toronto (Selma Toprak, cultural attaché).

Interview de Benoît Labourdette

Presentation of the festival

Digifest is Toronto’s international festival celebrating digital creativity

Hosted at the innovative Corus Quay building taking place on May 7 – 9th, 2015

Digifest 2015 will explore the themes of “Privacy, Money and Pleasure” in the 21st century showcasing the most innovative trends driving change today through Keynote Sessions, Panel discussions, Workshops and our Pleasure Room exhibition. From architects to app designers, creators and entrepreneurs take centre stage to share their stories and showcase the digital and technological discoveries that will re-shape some of today’s pressing urban challenges. The festival fosters connections by bringing together industry, academics and the public, and inspires us to think about how digital tools and technology will shape our lives and our future.

The drone is “democratizing”, begins to enter our lives. The world seen from above, the real world through this flying eye, disembodied, as in our vision of virtual worlds... our representation of the world is changing because of this new “look”, which is spreading.But what is the point of view of this disembodied eye ? What political position holds on it ? What new aesthetic derived ? What relationship to the body, to the territory, to the architecture, is deployed there ? In short, what is happening to our viewpoint ?It seems important to me to explore the use of these machines in their (...)