Alex Rivera, the artist behind the LowDrone, explains his project as such:
LowDrone.com lets users remotely pilot the ‘LowDrone,’ a vehicle which melds the lowrider, a customized car outfitted with hydraulics that allow the car to ‘hop,’ with the functionality of the drone, an unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with surveillance cameras that has been an evolving weapon and tool of airborne surveillance for nearly a hundred years. Lowriders are a technology developed primarily by Latino youth in barrios across the southwest. Drones are a technology recently deployed along the U.S. / Mexico border. Through LowDrone.com, users control a customized lowrider – the ‘LowDrone’ – and ‘hop’ over one of the most surveilled spaces on the planet: the U.S./Mexico border between Tijuana and southern California.
I thought the concept sounded a little cheesy, but the footage itself is actually quite beautiful, and emphasizes the permeability of the border:
It’s also a reminder that we don’t only use drones to try to kill terrorists. We’re a long, long way from satisfactory norms that govern how we kill, how we watch, and how we let ourselves be watched from above.