Drones can be cool, and drones can be deadly. But can they be Art?
The wizards at Cirque de Soleil have answered that question in the emphatic affirmative with "Sparked," an uncommonly cool piece of video art that incorporates a fleet of autonomous UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).
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Cirque de Soleil teamed with Swiss university ETH Zürich and Verity Studios to produce the short film, which was shot over the course of three days at the university's Flying Machine Arena. The final product contains no CGI, special effects or wires, according to the production team.
The piece starts with the famous quote from science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Then we see an electrical repairman in a workshop full of floor and table lamps. After an accidental power surge, the lamp shades light up and become animated - flying about the workshop and apparently responding to the repairman's gestures.