Hummingbird Drones


In 2006 the research company AeroVironment was awarded a $4 million contract to develop a naturally flying hummingbird drone with surveillance capabilities for DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration. This was the impetus for the installation piece “I’ve Not Had Enough of You”. I cast and hand painted 100 hummingbirds, 99 with faux cameras in their throats and one with a real camera to simulcast the installation’s viewer to a video monitor nearby.

The birds’ purpose is not immediately apparent, reflecting the larger reality of our modern surveillance state.


© james shefik  2017