Chariot and Ascender / Descender (2014)

These videos are both conceived as landscapes, almost static. Together they form a diptych.
Both videos feature Jake Wells, of Fleshpilot.com, a DIY drone builder and FPV (First Person View) hobbyist, and possibly the world’s first RC (Remote Control) Christian Minister. Wells operates his custom made Tricopter using FPV gear, seeing himself and the surrounding landscape in real-time from the point of view of his drone, which is what we get to see in the video Chariot. The video Ascender / Descender presents a static side view of Jake and the tricopter which his gaze currently “inhabits”, caught in an endless loop, ascending and descending to and from the heavens.
The names for both pieces in the diptych come from the body of writing known as “Merkabah mysticism”. The early jewish mystics / shamans who followed this form of esoteric practice attempted to gain access to a higher level of being symbolized by god’s chariot, known as the Merkabah. The core element in this practice was a trance-state in which the practitioner attempted to leave his body and enter a higher plane of being.
I am very interested in the way that certain aspects of contemporary hobbyist drone technology, in this case FPV flight, fulfill age-old desires and ideas such as the out-of-body experience aspired to by the Merkabah mystics.

Chariot and Ascender / Descender (2014) | 2014 | Videos