Commissioned by Abandon Normal Devices festival.
Searcher brings together two contrasting viewpoints of search and rescue, the dog with its nose to the ground, and the view from above found in maps, helicopters and satellite images. These views are visually combined in a series of kites modeled on the ‘Gibson Girl’ which was historically used in R.A.F. life-rafts to fly an aerial up into the sky and send an S.O.S. radio signal.
The images on the kites were captured by GoPro cameras mounted on a search and rescue dog, his handler, and a fake casualty during a training exercise with Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team. The handler and dog were also wearing GPS devices that tracked their movements as they performed the search, and the tracks formed part of the images on the kites.
Working with the dog handler we reviewed the GPS and the camera footage to further understand how far the dog goes, and what it is doing when searching out of sight. This aspect of the work is part of an ongoing interest in mobilities research, and the specific ways in which animal, human, technology and environment work and move together.
The kites are intended for an audience to fly, to engage physically with the sky, wind, ground and image as it moves in three dimensions.
The kites have been flown at:
Blog post about tracking and filming with the kites at Grizedale.