Roberto Vito D’Amico

“Unmanned Pigeons”

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) is the official name of the vehicles well known as drones. Located in the south-east of Niscemi, a town of thirty thousand inhabitants on the plateau between the Erei and Iblei mountains, near Caltanissetta, the US military base for radio telecommunications Naval Radio Transmitter Facility (NRTF) rises into the Sughereta Natural Reserve. Inside the base has been recently activated the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) a system that interfaces with all the robotic military devices, including drones. The electromagnetic field produced by the base is perceptible beyond a radius of 100 km, and there are numerous scientific studies that are working on the demonstration of the impact of electromagnetism on birdlife. In particular, groups of Sicilian environmentalists are sure that the electromagnetic field produced by the NRTF base as well as the MUOS are diverting the migratory flow of birds, which have always flown over those areas of Sicily.

Unmanned Pigeons introduces itself into this relationship between telecommunications military base, electromagnetic waves and bird migrations with the aim of visualization of these invisible effects that the massive US militarization in Sicily causes on birdlife.

A final experiment with homing pigeons with a GPS launched in the base area showed that electromagnetic waves have probably an impact on birdlife. The project mixes photos, archive documents, maps and data visualizations.

Roberto Vito D’Amico is an Italian photographer.

© Roberto Vito d’Amico