In December of 2012, the artists Ricardo Dominguez, Ian Alan Paul and Jane Stevens performed as researchers and consultants from the UC Center for Drone Policy and Ethics and simulated a “Drone Crash Incident” on the UC San Diego campus. The drone crash, as a form of critical fiction and disturbance theater, was enacted over the course of one week through the release of official statements, documents, photographs, and other forms of evidence which were published in various media institutions in and around San Diego. This involved sending regular press releases to media outlets about the campus drone crash and the process of the investigation, posting on social media and university forums about the incident, setting up a website, and putting up posters around campus as a way to expand the fiction’s narrative across multiple platforms and spaces. The simulative performance culminated in a public town hall on UC San Diego’s campus to discuss the crash with students, faculty, and various members of the public.
The archived statements from the UC Center for Drone Policy and Ethics can be read on the institution’s website.
Press Coverage of the Drone Crash Incident can be found here:
“Drone Crashes On UC San Diego Campus, Revealed As ‘New Media Art Project’” (Huffington Post)
“Source of Mystery Drone Crash Revealed” (NBC San Diego)
“Drone crash on college campus in San Diego is art-hoax” (Boing Boing)