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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer MNEMODRONE - CHAPTER ONE


MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE


Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE Independent publication New York, NY November 2014 Second Edition MNEMODRONE (2014-in progress) is a project by Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer Special thanks to Matt Fidler and to Claudio Amparo - Tijolo Intermedia Brazil


MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE


Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

INDEX PART 1: INTRODUCTION

p.1

1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7

p.2 p.3 p.4 p.5 p.6 p.7 p.8

ABOUT THE PROJECT CONTEXT ABOUT CHAPTER ONE ABOUT AIOP FOLLOWING CHAPTERS FINAL CHAPTER QUESTIONS

PART 2: OBSERVATIONS

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2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8

p.24 p.25 p.26 p.27 p.28 p.29 p.31 p.32

NUMBER OF MEMORIES AVERAGE LENGTH MOST COMMON TOPICS EXCEPTIONS GENDER METHODOLOGY HI\HELLO\BYE\THANK YOU TAG SYSTEM

PART 3: TRANSCRIPTS

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE


PART 1: INTRODUCTION


MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

1.1 ABOUT THE PROJECT MNEMODRONE is a transmedia memory-collecting project based on drone technology that investigates the social and philosophical issues of coexistence between human and artificial intelligences.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

1.2 CONTEXT In 2011 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced that in less than 20 years, there will be 30,000 drones flying over the American soil, watching the entire country. Now we’re at the beginning of that process, and the FAA still has little knowledge of what kinds of drones are going to take over the sky. What is even more difficult to foresee, are the kinds of relationships that will develop between humans and drones.

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

1.3 ABOUT CHAPTER ONE AIOP Festival, October 9-12th 2014, on 14th Street, NYC MNEMODRONE made its debut at the AIOP Festival, where we asked the public to share a selection of their memories with our drone simply by recording a voice message through a toll-free phone number. The drone starts out with an “empty memory” and is only programmed to fly and store memories; it doesn’t speak, doesn’t interact directly with the public. The public decided which memories to share with MNEMODRONE. As artists we had no control over the process. What the public was told, is that the drone will transform according to what they share with it.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

1.4 ABOUT AIOP AIOP Festival presents visual and performance art in unexpected public spaces. AIOP also produces an annual festival along 14th Street in Manhattan, NYC from Avenue C to the Hudson River each October. AIOP aims to stretch the boundaries of communication in the public realm by presenting artworks in all disciplines outside the confines of traditional public space regulations. AiOP reminds us that public spaces function as the epicenter for diverse social interactions and the unfettered exchange of ideas.

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

1.5 FOLLOWING CHAPTERS FIRST POSSIBILITY We decide to develop further collaborations and extend the timeline of the project. The drone keeps collecting human memories through public apparitions, while developing its “personality” based on the collected data. The way the drone will react to those memories is an open question that we won’t answer alone. In order to develop an A.I. platform able to modify itself through data analysis, we would collaborate with one or more A.I. researchers. SECOND POSSIBILITY We decide to end the public appearances of MNEMODRONE, without actually developing a specific A.I. but instead starting the Final Chapter.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

1.6 FINAL CHAPTER Interdisciplinary Interpretations At the end, we will have access to the database of memories people have shared with the drone. We intend to use that material to understand how people engaged with MNEMODRONE: what the limits, concerns, important points and ambiguities were in this process. We will draw from this material in order to create a complex body of artworks. Even if every appearance of MNEMODRONE is an event on its own, the project will only be complete after sifting through the collected memories. For the final chapter, we will focus on the issues and questions raised by the project in an interdisciplinary way that goes beyond the limits of scientific and social analysis, and speculate on possible answers.

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

1.7 QUESTIONS

Is it possible for a machine to act based on collective memories?

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

What kind of memories are people willing to share with a machine?

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

Are we ready to believe that a machine can develop a personality?

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

What’s the difference between memory, personality and consciousness?

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

Is it possible to develop a consciousness based on collective memories?

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Can consciousness be artificially developed?

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

What’s the relationship between memory and consciousness?

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

What kind of relationship between humans and machines can emerge from the drone-collected data?

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

What makes people start or stop collaborating with machines?

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Will people experience the project as a new invasion of their precarious privacy?

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

Will people think of it as a scientific experiment, an event, a game or all of these things in various combinations?

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Will people refuse to take part in it?

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

And what can that tell us about humans?

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Are we able to share memories with a machine in the same way we share memories with a real person?

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

Is the Bergsonian idea that memory contains a living dynamic automatism applicable to machines?

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

PART 2: OBSERVATIONS

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

2.1 NUMBER OF MEMORIES For CHAPTER ONE we gathered 14 memories, over three days, during two public performances at 14th Street Park.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

2.2 AVERAGE LENGTH The messages were limited to 2 minutes, but the average length of the messages recorded was 38.23 seconds.

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

2.3 MOST COMMON TOPICS Almost everyone talked about a memory or the act of remembering. Only one person didn't and told a story instead. However, that story may have been a personal memory in disguise.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

2.4 EXCEPTIONS The only message that apparently wasn’t a “memory” was sexually explicit. Hypothesis: we can consider the use of the story as an act of creating distance from the message, or anonymizing the message itself. Only one message referred to drone technology.

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

2.5 GENDER Although we talked to an equal number of men and women, the majority of messages gathered were created by women (10 out of 14). However, a significantly larger pool of messages will need to be collected in order to draw meaningful conclusions. This may explain why 4 messages refers to "boyfriend" and only one to "girlfriend". This ratio could easily change if the number of messages created by men and women is the same.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

2.6 METHODOLOGY How different would the messages be if we don't explain the project personally? If we are not inviting the public, will people engage with the project? Will this affect the ratio menwomen? And the content of the messages? Can we split the performative side of the project with the act of gathering memories? How will that influence the content of the memories? What happens if we don't perform in a public space but we present the project indoor? Every person that called did so immediately after having talked to us. This leads to two temporary conclusions: 1. There is a strong relationship between project explanation and a following action from the public. 29


MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

2. Personal influence plays a big role. We need to vary our methodology in order to observe changes in the results.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

2.7 HI/HELLO/THANK YOU Only two people said “hello\hi”. Those people also said “thanks” or “thank you”. Everyone else simply shared a memory. This may have been the result of the fact that the drone doesn't present human connotations at the moment.

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

2.8 TAG SYSTEM The messages have now been organized using the following tags for further analysis: SEX, AGE, LOCATION, MEMORY, BOYFRIEND, NEW YORK, EXPLICIT SEX, SEXUAL INNUENDO, FRIENDSHIP, DEATH, FUNNY, CALL ME BACK, CHILDREN, BEING BORN, SECRET, NOSTALGIA, QUESTION, DRONE, GIRLFRIEND, MONEY While the first three are basic tags presented in every message, the other tags were used when the message refered to that specific subject. More tags will probably be used in the future. When the age, sex or location is not clear it is still possible to use the tag system without that specific information.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

For CHAPTER TWO we may need to address all these questions, trying to present the drone and the project not at the same time. We may also try to explain the project in person and through additional materials as well. In this way we could analyze how the gathered messages change in one context or the other. Finally, for CHAPTER TWO we intend to present this first notes as part of the documentation, submitting them to the public. This will certainly influence the messages received, but it's impossible to anticipate how.

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

RECURRENT THEMES: MEMORY: BOYFRIEND: NEW YORK: EXPLICIT SEX: SEXUAL INNUENDO: FRIENDSHIP: DEATH: FUNNY: CALL ME BACK: CHILDREN: BEING BORN: SECRET: NOSTALGIA: QUESTION: DRONE: GIRLFRIEND: MONEY:

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XXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX XXXX XX XX XX XX XX X X X X X X X X X


Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

PART 3: TRANSCRIPTS

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

What follows is the index of letters and numbers used for the transcript of the messages.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

APPROXIMATIVE AGE A: <25 B: 26-50 C: >50 D: nd

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

SEX SO: other SF: female SM: male

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

LENGTH OF THE CALL T:mm:ss

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

[] Our notes

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

LOCATIONS L1 Fort Greene Park, Myrtle Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, USA. Latitude: 40.690344 Longitude: 73.973833 Sea level: 22 m L2 Central Park South, New York City, New York, USA. Latitude: 40.766029 Longitude: -73.9770582 Sea level: 19 m L3 New York City Housing Authority Campos Plaza Community Center, 611 E 13th St, New York, NY 10009. Latitude: 40.7285078 Longitude: 73.9777687 Sea level: 3 m L4 14th Street Park, New York, NY 10011. Latitude: 40.742763 Longitude: -74.008162 Sea level: 3 m L5 CultureHub NYC, 47 Great Jones St, New York, NY 10012. Latitude: 40.7264753 Longitude: -73.9926413 Sea level: 13 m

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MNEMODRONE – CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER ONE L4 - RECORDINGS. 10-12 October 2014

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Mb800-139771755-Message40 T:0:26 SF A L4 TAGS: DRONE, QUESTION, MEMORY, NEW YORK

Hi drone. umm I... umm remember when I learned what a drone was. What else do I remember? What else do I remember? I remember the first time I came to the Lower East Side What do you remember? Thanks drone.

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MNEMODRONE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CHAPTER ONE

Mb800-139798230-Message41 T:0:23 SM C L4 TAGS: MEMORY, NEW YORK, CHILDREN Well. I remember coming down to this area of Manhattan, along the river and umm watching my son skateboard in the skatepark. A bunch of years ago. That's what I remember!

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Mb800-139798589-Message42 T:0:42 SF A L4 TAGS: NEW YORK, MONEY, EXPLICIT SEX, MEMORY, BOYFRIEND, FRIENDSHIP One memory I have, was yesterday, when I was at my boyfriend's football club, and he got really hurt, and I lost my wallet, which had a hundred dollars in it. But now, today, we're in New York City and I have no money, but, people are paying for me and we're meeting famous celebrities and taking pictures of really sexy models and there's a number of things you can do in new york city and there are many things you will see in new york city but mainly, the main thing we will be doing in new york city is fucking right in the pussy. And that's good. Yeah. 45


MNEMODRONE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CHAPTER ONE

Mb800-139798608-Message43 T:0:41 SF A L4 TAGS: EXPLICIT SEX There is a couple. Sitting in this very park. They're just hanging out and they decide to go into the bushes to fuck each other and not just to fuck each other but you know, that sixty-nine shit and all that mother fucking shit and then, she goes down on her knees and sucks the dick and then he comes and then he runs away and never comes back.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Mb800-139812417-Message44 T:0:24 SM C L4 TAGS: NOSTALGIA, MEMORY I umm remember the first time I umm sort of realize I was, that I was just, I was becoming older and therefore I would remember things like I would experience nostalgia

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MNEMODRONE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CHAPTER ONE

Mb800-139812477-Message45 T:0:14 SF A L4 TAGS: SECRET, CALL ME BACK, MEMORY, SEXUAL INNUENDO Hi Mnemodrone, I have a very secret, private memory to share with you. If you could give me a call back at [omitting sensitive information] when you get a chance, I would love to share with you. Thank you. Bye.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Mb800-139812853-Message46 T:0:35 SF B L4 TAGS: MEMORY, DEATH, FRIENDSHIP umm I have a memory to share about the last time I saw one of my friends. umm I didn't know itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the last time I would see them, at that time umm Heading up to Calvin Gray bus stop. And I gave my friend a hug, said good bye and then something deep inside me compelled me to gave her a second hug And I gave her a really big squeeze and got on the bus and raised her hair so I couldn't see her anymore and that was June the 3rd.

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MNEMODRONE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CHAPTER ONE

Mb800-139813239-Message47 T:0:42 SM B L4 TAGS: MEMORY, FUNNY, GIRLFRIEND, BOYFRIEND Ok, so I remember one time, I was at this music festival with a girl who would later on become my girlfriend and she is great and all things And anyway, I was sort of a silly young kid at that point I didn't know what I was doing, I liked her a lot but I wasn't like... going for it the way I should And we were sitting on this lawn and I remember this ant started crawling on me and I flicked it away and there was another ant and I flicked it away and like, suddenly I had like, five thousands ants crawling all over me, and it was the worst thing in the world. But I tried to play it off cool and I told her that my superpower was being always covered in ants and I think to these days she kind of still believes it. 50


Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Mb800-139813324-Message48 T:0:43 SF A L4 TAGS: MEMORY, BOYFRIEND, FUNNY Well, so there was this one time, I was hanging out with my boyfriend in my living room of my apartment and we were just kind of goofing around, playing around, cooking some dinner, and I decided that, I was strong enough to let him jump into my arms and catch him. And I would catch him. And it didn't really work out. I dropped him right onto his butt and he pulled me down with me [laughing] and all of a sudden he ran into the bathroom and he almost pooped in front of me [laughing] so hard [laughing] and my roomate saw him and thought he was really hurt but he [laughing] just really just had to poop.

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MNEMODRONE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CHAPTER ONE

Mb800-139813852-Message49 T:0:59 SF B L4 TAGS: MEMORY, DEATH My memory is of this time, October, about four years ago, when my grandfather was in the hospital and my grandmother at that time had a panic attach and had to go to the hospital herself, because I think she foresaw that her husband was dying and one night he did die. We woke up in the morning and the doctor called and told us that he did die so my whole family had to go to the other hospital where my grandmother was and tell her that he had died. And he was her husband for about sixty-four years and I just remember looking at her face when my father finally said "John died last night" and she just closed her eyes, and looked up at the ceiling and I will never forget the heaviness I saw on her face when she heard that news. And that is one of the most powerful memories I think I've ever had. 52


Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Mb800-139814882-Message51 T:0:16 SF D L4 TAGS: MEMORY, BOYFRIEND, SEXUAL INNUENDO [interference] My dear memory is that I’m making here with my boyfriend and we’ve had a few conversations and I was able to find more about him and get to know him …

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MNEMODRONE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CHAPTER ONE

Mb800-139814937-Message52 T:0:34 SF B L4 TAGS: MEMORY I remember when I met Emilio. It was five years ago, and we were in Bologna, in a photography class and I was sitting next to him. He asked me for a pen and I gave him one of my pens and he asked me where I was from because it had an American museum name on it, and.. And then it was all over, from there [laughing] That's my memory. [laughing]

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

Mb800-139814990-Message53 T:1:16 SF A L4 TAGS: NEW YORK, BEING BORN, MEMORY I remember my memory when my dad told me that the story that I was Hum when I was born in Brazil. And it was in New York, so I got so much Hum I had hum my neck turned and my mom body and the doctor helped me get out. That's what I remember. That's the story when I... I was born. That's my memory.

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MNEMODRONE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CHAPTER ONE

Mb800-139815057-Message54 T:0:18 SF A L4 TAGS: BOYFRIEND Ok, so, the first time I felt that I actually loved my boyfriend was when we were at a cinema and he pointed at the cartoon Brave and he told me that he wanted to watch it.

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Emilio Vavarella and Daniel Belquer

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Emilio Vavarella was born in Monfalcone (Italy) in 1989. His artistic practice focuses on political philosophy and contemporary technological power. He has worked with holographic installation of collective memories, drones, Google Street View technology and has written memories into the ASCII code of vintage family photos. He has studied in Sicily and Barcelona and completed a B.A. at the University of Bologna. In 2013 he completed an M.A. from Iuav University of Venice while also studying abroad at the Bezalel Academy of Tel Aviv and Bilgi University of Istanbul. Emilioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work has been recently shown at: EYEBEAM, SIGGRAPH, GLITCH Festival, EMAF Festival, Mediterranea16, Boston Cyberarts, Jarach Gallery and Museum of Contemporary Art Vojvodina. His work has been published in: ARTFORUM, Flash Art, Leonardo and WIRED. He currently lives and works in New York.

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MNEMODRONE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; CHAPTER ONE

A contemporary intermedia artist, Daniel Belquer works internationally to blur the temporal frontiers once bounding classic artistic genres from emerging technologies. Daniel has worked as an artist, a Max/MSP a programmer, a designer, a technician, a composer, a teacher, a project manager and as an experimental theater director. Wearing several hats has kept him engaged with the technical as well as artistic aspects of his installations and theatrical works, incorporating the DIY spirit into his work ethos. Since 1999 he has collaborated and assisted over 2,000 students in music, performance art, acting and programming workshops. He lives and works in New York City, where he's the Head of the Creative Team at Harvestworks Digital Media Arts Center and founder of Harvestworks' International Art Collective(HIAC). He has recently presented his projects at Transfer Gallery, Hyphen Hub, SESC Copacabana, Agora Arts Center, Spectrum, Harvestworks, Firehouse Gallery, Emily Harvey Gallery, Parsons School of Design, Maker Faire, 3 Legged Dog and the Dark Circuits Festival. 58


MNEMODRONE - Chapter 1  

MNEMODRONE is a transmedia memory-collecting project based on drone technology that investigates the social and philosophical issues of coex...

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