IFO-001.jpg

Identified Flying Objects


 

 Identified Flying Objects 

Growing up at the tail end of the Cold War, I spent hours pouring over “spy” photographs of the latest military hardware. The grainy and blurry photos of Soviet and American military aircraft - sometimes confused for UFOs - usually only hinted at the shape and purpose of these mysterious vehicles. Even as a child these unidentified aircraft embodied a contradictory sense of wonder and foreboding.

I’ve also watched the divide between military and civilian aircraft all but disappear. While the weaponization of commercial aircraft first entered popular consciousness after 9/11, the line was being blurred long before then. Almost every civilian aircraft made now is also used by at least one military force. At times the only thing distinguishing them is a paint job - sometimes not even that. Most recently, US Special Forces have abandoned their camouflage or black painted aircraft in favor of planes that are visually identical to corporate planes.

In the series Identified Flying Objects, I’ve adopted the visual iconography of those “UFO” photos and applied it to both military aircraft, and to what are generally regarded as “civilian” aircraft that are used for military purposes. By concealing the detail and markings one is accustomed to seeing, these blurred shapes suggest the Brancusian essence of these machines. An essence that contains an unsolvable paradox: while being sublimely beautiful and the pinnacle of a millennia-old human dream, these aircraft were designed for or used to deliver terror and destruction to human civilizations.

archival pigment print on double-weight matte paper
60x40" edition of 3
 24x18"  edition of 5

 

 
 Northrop B-2 Spirit, 2008.

Northrop B-2 Spirit, 2008.

 
 Boeing AH-64 Apache

Boeing AH-64 Apache

 
 Boeing 757 / C-32

Boeing 757 / C-32

 
 McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, 2012.

McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, 2012.

 
 McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender, 2006.

McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender, 2006.

 
 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, 2006.

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, 2006.