Life as a U.S. drone operator: ‘it’s like playing a video game for four years’

The Guardian reports: “It is a lot like playing a video game,” admits a former Predator drone operator matter-of-factly to the artist Omer Fast. “But playing the same video game four years straight on the same level.” His bombs kill real people though and, he admits, often not the people he is aiming at.

The remarkable insight into the working life of one of the most modern of military operatives is provided in a 30-minute film which will show at the Imperial War Museum in London from Monday, the first in a new programme of exhibitions under the title IWM Contemporary.

The project is something of a departure for the museum in one way, although it has been commissioning and showing artists since the first world war. “The idea behind this strand is to present a consistent offer,” said Sara Bevan, a curator in the art department. “So people do identify us with contemporary art because it sometimes does get a bit lost.” It will also allow the gallery to perhaps be more provocative and more reactive to contemporary events.

The work by Fast, an Israel-born artist who lives and works in Berlin, is called 5,000 Feet is the Best, which takes its name from the optimum flight altitude of a Predator drone. [Continue reading…]

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