Drone Drama: Music for the Dead 2016 is an experimental-documentary video that addresses what it is to be human in the age of the drone. Based on the eleven chapter album and text by composer Sean Derrick Cooper Marquardt, filmed on the San Francisco Peninsula by Cecelia Chapman.

Each chapter examines aspects of the local technology culture that has become the world’s fifth largest economy. It is a culture derived from the wealth of early Spanish missions, the nearby, greatest WWII shipyards, and Vietnam War munitions companies, that morphed into the present military defense contracted corporations driving income disparity, homelessness, environmental degradation and social upheaval. A cautionary tale for the world.

@youtube for chapters

Chapter 1. ‘I love watching the movement of your limbs when they tremble from the wind’s gentle caress.’ This chapter was filmed on the full moon summer solstice four hundred miles away from Aliso Canyon gas storage that was leaking a methane plume visible from space into the air for four months in 2016. It was one of the worst unreported environmental disasters in U.S. history.

Chapter 2. ‘Things that never die have never lived.’ Found online war video and war explosions posted as entertainment.

Chapter 3. ‘Music for the Dead’ examines domestic violence and it’s connection to collective anger and violence through the eyes of the traumatized witness.

Chapter 4. Offerings of the Oracle examines two repositories of knowledge and prediction in split screen. An online psychic-oracle, descendent of transgender shaman who used mask, costume, mood, and herbs to find answers within and in nature for the survival of tribe. And Oracle software corporation, a militarized knowledge editor named after it’s first CIA contract, their headquarters, salt pond and Oracle Team USA American Cup Challenger.

Chapter 5. ‘People build fences to keep people out and other people build fences to keep people in,’ presents the ‘surveillance eye,’ by drone at the coast near Pedro Rock where the US government patrols for foreign invasion, and by design of San Francisco Alcatraz prison, to keep prisoners imprisoned.

Chapter 6. ‘If you are not a fish, how can you tell if the fish are happy?’ considers the relevance of ancient dialogue of knowledge to contemporary digital information practice. It addresses the dilemma of knowledge at the precipice of nuclear and environmental disaster, in the age of drones. Filmed Asian Gardens, San Francisco.

Chapter 7. ‘Only the Sufferers Know How their Bellies Ache.’ San Francisco early March 2017, winter storms prevented filming for weeks. By the time rain stopped, I learned San Francisco city was removing the north side of the freeway camps where the homeless ‘drug-users’ lived. The south side, the ‘non-drug-users-just-homeless’ side, was visibly frantic about the possibility of losing their much cleaner camps. “…it’s a game,” a man said drinking beer, with his canoe and giant teddy bear, waiting for the city workers and police to leave. San Francisco Peninsula housing is the highest in the nation due to the inflated salaries of Silicon Valley tech workers. The Vietnam war munitions industry, and earlier WWII ship builders on the San Francisco Peninsula morphed into the government funded bio-tech and knowledge software industry. The link between homelessness, drone warfare and military contracted technology corporations is a straight line.

Chapter 8. ‘Kind Words Conquer.’ I asked people to say, ‘I Love You.’

Chapter 9. ‘When Eating the Fruit, Remember the One Who Planted the Tree.’ With GoldenEstella. Filmed in San Francisco Botanical Gardens, San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco Potrero Seed Library, Shelldance Orchid Gardens. In the past 25 years, Davis and Rothenberg have established Shelldance Nursery as one of the premiere collections of rare and exotic bromeliads. “People are affected by what the United States does to other cultures. Jungle cultures go way back thousands of years. When jungles are demolished, all of that cultural beauty is lost,” says Davis. Over the past 25 years, Rothenberg, a poet and song writer, has been a leading force in the protection of Bay Area coastal lands and endangered species. Rothenberg’s literary activities moved into prominence in 1989 when he and Nancy Victoria Davis founded Big Bridge Press, a fine print literary press, which published the works of Andrei Codrescu, Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure and others.

Chapter 10. ‘I slept on your side of the bed because the pillow smells like you,’ contemplates love and loss in the age of the drone.

Chapter 11. ‘If you were born without wings, do nothing to prevent them from growing,’ suggests consciousness as path to transformation and change. Filmed at the NODAPL 2016 Berkeley Indigenous Day. Military prints depicting the 300,000 Northern California Indian genocide lined the walls of the hotel where I stayed for the night.

Upcoming 2021...Cotuit Center for the Arts, selected video including Drone Drama: Music for the Dead Chapter 1 and 10

Acud Macht Neu Berlin DRONE DRAMA: Music for the Dead, August 2020

Chapter 10 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead, Loophole Berlin, Germany 2019

Chapter 10 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead, Primal Uproar III, Hamburg, Germany

Chapter 9 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead, Interalia Magazine https://www.interaliamag.org/emerging…

Drone Drama: Music for the Dead, Magmart Video Festival 10 http://www.magmart.it/fullvideo.php?i…

Drone Drama 2016, Traumathek, Cologne, Germany

Chapter 8 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead http://www.unlikelystories.org/conten…

Chapter 1 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead https://www.redfez.net/video/drones-d…

Chapter 10 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead https://slowforward.me/2016/12/07/cec…

Chapter 3 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead https://dotswaves.wistia.com/medias/i…

Chapter 6 Drone Drama: Music for the Dead http://www.unlikelystories.org/conten…