Updated: Flying Graffiti Drone Will Alter The Urban Landscape

Graffiti artist KATSU has come up with the solution to many a tagger's nightmare - how can I get up to that high surface to paint on it? Take a look at this video showing a flying graffiti drone.

(KATSU graffiti drone video)

In his bid to find innovative ways to extend the artist’s reach to previously inaccessible spaces, KATSU, who is a member of the online free culture and technology collective F.A.T Lab, has projected his art out of the material world and into digital sphere. In 2013, he started placing his graffiti tags in the video game Minecraft. Indeed, he has even tagged an entirely imaginary space: in 2010, he created fake (but very realistic) videos of himself spray painting the White House (video below) and a Picasso. Briefly, many in the art world were fooled.

KATSU’s new project is not fake or hypothetical, though it does elevate his work to new heights. He has developed a system to attach a spray can to a quadcopter, creating the world’s first true graffiti drone. The drone is capable of spraying canvases or walls hundreds of feet tall, granting the artist access to physical spaces that were previously inaccessible. At the Silicon Valley Contemporary art fair, which opens April 10, KATSU will show a series of canvasses that he created with his graffiti drone...

Katsu, who gained graffiti fame in the 1990s in New York City, showed a series of paintings created by the flying machine at the Silicon Valley Contemporary art fair last weekend. The splotchy canvasses wouldn’t necessary stop you in your tracks, but the process by which they were created is entirely new. Katsu pilots the craft remotely, but every movement is translated through the machine’s need to keep itself aloft.

"To a large degree, it’s up to the drone. It’s like, I’m telling this device to basically accommodate this new attached payload that has an unusual shape, which then changes the drone’s shape. The drone is suddenly trying to adjust in real-time to the decreasing weight of the paint as the can empties. The flight patterns, the gestures, are my control. But it’s really strange–it’s weird, bizarre: it’s like 50 percent me having control and 50 percent the drone kind of like saying, ‘no I need to go this way’ or ‘I need to bounce out this way’ or ‘I need to turn this way to accomplish what you want me to do but still maintain myself so I don’t just fly into the wall and explode.’ Which it does, all the time; well, it’s doing it less and less now that I’m getting a better relationship with it."
(From Interview: KATSU and The Graffiti Drone)

This idea is to some extent presaged by the graffiti artists in William Gibson's 1999 novel All Tomorrow's Parties, who go to great lengths to tag the "untag gable" surface:

…Someone had once come up with a smart tag, a sort of decal they'd somehow adhered to the [smart] wall, although [they] had not been able to figure out how they'd done it without being seen. Maybe they'd shot it from a distance...
(Read more about Gibson's smart tag)

Graffiti artists could choose the opposite direction - go underground. In the enjoyable 1993 movie Demolition Man (with Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes and Sandra Bullock), taggers create remote controlled underground drones:

Udpate: In the Judge Dredd comics, a graffiti war breaks out between disaffected teen Chopper and a mysterious artist named The Phantom, who turns out to be a bored city painting robot:

(The Phantom meets Chopper)

Thanks to Dave for pointing this out. End update.

The battle between street artists and those who'd prefer to have buildings and public structures remain as the architects intended rages on.

Thanks to an anonymous Technovelgy reader for submitting this story and a reference.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/16/2014)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Lumo Projector Turns Kids Rooms Into Bradbury's Veldt
'The walls began to purr and recede... and presently an African veldt appeared...'- Ray Bradbury, 1951.

Hologram Protest World's First
'Their bodies were in their dwelling cells, but their telucid images filled the hall.'- RF Starzl, 1931.

Norlin Shoe Drone Robot UAV In-Store Delivery Thing
'Robot-salesmen were everywhere, gesturing, pleading, shrilling.'- Philip K Dick, 1954.

Brand Killer Helmet Blocks Real-Life Ads
'Some merely held the holos [ads] at arm's length.'- John Varley, 1977.


  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Harvard's Robobees Now 'Fly' Underwater
'...the Scarab buzzed into the great workroom as any intruding insect might, and sought the security of a shadowed corner.'

ADEPT Heat Shield Works For Mars
'...A synthetic which air-friction would erode away...'

Ultralight Origami Crane UAV Flexes Its Wings
'They began to flex their wings.'

UM Solar Car Now Also With IBM Research Power
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

Robot-Based Trash Collection
'Robots pick up the garbage and junk and load it in there...'

Warrior Web Exoskeleton For Soldiers Undergo Tests
'The real genius in the design is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it...'

Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
'It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.'

Light Molecules (And Maybe Light Sabers, Someday)
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

Telepresence In The Office
'That led to his development of robot probes; small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely... under direct control.'

Piper, Google's 2 Billion Line Code Repository, Needs A Cool Display
'The student pointed a finger and as he did so, the line of equations marched down the wall...'

WEpod Driverless Vehicle On The Netherlands Roads
'The car moved smoothly away. Mirelly-Lyra half relaxed; she was not steering.'

Computer Predicts Psychosis Better Than Psychiatrists
'The mechanism which was the portable extension of Dr. Smile...'

Robot Evolution Needs Mass Extinction Events
'It was small, one of the baby ones.'

Lab-Grown Kidneys Implanted Successfully - In Animals
'For a while your colonists will have to come up to the Hospital to get treatment with the ramrobot symbiots...'

Korean Lab Ready To Clone Your Dog
Man's best friend, cloned.

DARPA NeuroTech Hand With Natural Sensation
'Take care, sir.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.