A portrait of St. Louis, by drone | St. Louis Public Radio

A portrait of St. Louis, by drone

Mar 24, 2016

Have you ever wondered what St. Louis looks from the perspective of a hawk or eagle?

The St. Louis Art Museum will offer you a chance to find out, starting this weekend. Artist Andrea Stansislav’s new exhibit "Convergence Infinité" focuses on video captured by flying a drone equipped with a camera over the city.

"This is the city, this is the area, and the river too, this is where you live," Stanislav said.  “It’s wide and it’s vast, but it’s seeing all and seeing all as it is.  And that was really important to me - that everything is revealed but there’s no judgment." 

Stanislav presents the footage as a four-channel video installation that leads viewers from the outskirts of the city to the Apotheosis of St. Louis statue installed in front of the museum.  The artist started scouting various St. Louis waterways and historical sites in October, and turned those journeys into a flight plan for the drones. The footage became four projections displayed simultaneously, exposing viewers to urban sprawl as well as historical sites like Cahokia Mounds and the Gateway Arch.

"Convergence Infinité" is the second drone-themed exhibit to open in St. Louis this spring. Last month the multi-artist show To See Without Being Seen: Contemporary Art and Drone Warfare, which explores the drone's role in military and surveillance, opened at the Kemper Art Museum at Washington University. For Stanislav, the drone wasn’t a symbol of American imperialism or increased surveillance , but a tool that gives people the chance to see a large swath of the city at once.

"There’s a very sort of dream-like and human-like scale to the way the drone footage looks. It’s very hypnotic, I find it very beautiful,” Stanislav said.

Stanislav's latest work is on display through mid-June.  Her 2008 video, Blow Away, is also on display in an upstairs gallery.

Follow Willis on Twitter: @willisrarnold