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This Giant Drone Will Soon Soar Over High Line

MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, NY — A sculpture that imitates a giant drone will be installed on the High Line this spring as the elevated park’s latest featured artwork, organizers announced Thursday.

Dubbed “Untitled (drone),” the 25-foot-tall fiberglass sculpture by artist Sam Durant will arrive in May. Its home will be the High Line Plinth, the rotating public art space over West 30th Street and 10th Avenue.

Until August 2022, the drone will hover eerily over the Manhattan thoroughfare. The artist designed it to rotate with the wind atop its steel pole, and its bare, white finishing leaves it stripped of all the technological details that adorn a typical drone.

Modeled after the Predator drones used by the U.S. military to carry out airstrikes overseas, the sculpture “seeks to make visible the intentionally obscured drone warfare perpetuated by the U.S.,” the High Line said in a news release.

The work represents a re-emergence from controversy by artist Sam Durant, whose sculpture, “Gallows,” was dismantled in 2017 after controversy. (Sam Durant/Courtesy of the High Line)

The work also represents a re-emergence from controversy by Durant. In 2017, his work depicting wooden gallows intended to harken back to executions of Native Americans carried out by the U.S. government sparked outragewhen it was installed at a Minneapolis museum without outreach to local Dakota people.

It was eventually dismantled and Durant offered intellectual property rights to the Dakota people, the New York Times reported.

“Untitled (drone) brings critical visibility to issues that remain both hidden and pervasive in our societies,” said Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art, in a news release.

The High Line will announce public programming to coincide with the sculpture’s installation in the coming months.

Earlier this year, the High Line revealed 12 shortlisted sculptures under consideration to become the Plinth’s next installations in 2022 and 2024.

The diverse selections, ranging from a giant pigeon to a bright pink tree, were narrowed down from an initial set of 80 proposals that the public could vote on.

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