Research Seminar – Felix Green

Balancing Acts: Automatism and Immersion in the Ground Control Station

Felix Green – University of Edinburgh, ESALA

Thursday 7th November 4pm – Inspace, 1 Crichton Street

As the usage, capabilities and variety of armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones has compounded over the past two decades, there has been a parallel swell in the need to produce sister technologies and interfaces which control and oversee these UAVs from a distance. Typically known as Ground Control Stations (GCSs), these room-sized interfaces serve as the primary point of interaction between in-flight UAVs and their operating crews.

In this presentation, the Ground Control Station will be introduced as a system of closely articulated control. As a technological means through which diverse, individual and interpersonal, organic and mechanical agents are brought together to collaborate with often lethal consequences. It will be explored as a complex immersive environment that provides a concise example of our urgent need to formalise and understand the intricacies of machine/human cooperation.

Felix Green is a Cultural Studies student currently writing-up his Ph.D. thesis in the Architecture and Landscape Architecture department (ESALA) at the University of Edinburgh. His research focusses on contemporary conditions of immersion in a range of artistic and non-artistic contexts. Often concentrating on ethical problems related to coercion, agency and autonomy, his thesis seeks to establish shared conceptual vocabulary between professedly immersive environments that have been designed to engender an aestheticized, consumable experience – and certain built spaces from the ‘theatre of combat’. This presentation has been developed from his most-recent thesis chapter that centres on Human Machine Interface design for remote weaponry.

Inspace, 1 Crichton St, Edinburgh EH8 9AB