The latest visual installation by leaders of a new school – Yaw P, Steloolive, Daniel Quist and Francis Kokoroko – is a window into a future Ghana where all actions people take are recorded by the state. The story tells of a befallen drone and the quest of two inventors to give it a new drive.
Yaw P installed part of this work at CHALE WOTE 2015 with the Scrap Drones Project. The collective – breaking bounds in music, performance, design, photography and visual style – are compelling, each in his own right. All we can say is – keep the collaborations coming.
The Black Sentinel Ultra
Built in: July, 2052
Commissioned: August, 2052
Current Year: 2054
Decades down the line, Ghana started a space program that was meant to launch home-made communication satellites into space. The program ended up neglecting its main goal of launching these communication technologies but rather begun commercializing the highly sophisticated drone capabilities into illegal surveillance activities. This was very lucrative considering the volatility within the region.
The Drones were built with exquisite precision and employed the best and most creative minds in the country to pull it off. The Black Sentinel Ultra was modeled after the Sentinel Military Drone and was powered by very little crude, solar and wind energies that will allow it to stay in flight for close to 20 years. Its synthetic metal fabricated casing was designed to absorb sunlight and lightening to store power in tiny energy cells.
Revenue generated through The Program was squandered by the appointed officers from the ruling party and the case ended up at the Supreme Court. It is still being debated as to who is solely responsible for this massive USD 213.2 billion dollar financial loss to the State.
This happened at a time when Ghana had ambitions to prove to the region and the world that it was a country capable of competing with the strongest economies on the continent; Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria & Rwanda. The economy took a downturn after taxes had been raised in an attempt to retrieve some of the monies that had been lost.
The Black Sentinel Ultra was highly successful after its first mission but negligence, illegal and unauthorized use at the control center caused it to break down beyond repair. It was kept in a make-shift hanger at the defunct Kotoka International Airport and started to deteriorate.
Scrap businesses started coming by to bid over the heavy metal pieces to sell which was very lucrative due to the industrial demand of the high quality synthetic metal which they would melt down, mix and resell.
Laying hands on the blueprint of The Black Sentinel Ultra, two creative artists came together to fix and re-test it. The restoration of the derelict project currently looks promising but it is increasingly becoming very expensive to keep it going.