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Meet PNC Pop-In Artist in Resident: Lile Stephens

We are delighted to welcome Lile Stephens to our PNC Pop-In Residency at Artspace this August. Lile will be in residence in the Upfront Gallery beginning July 29 through September 4. His exhibition will open September 4.

Lile Stephens, Omen 1

Lile Stephens, Omen 1

Lile sent us the following description of his project and the exciting workshop he will be teaching:

My residency will focus on society’s relationship with flight technology—commercial, military, and
civilian. At any given moment, one can look to the skies and witness machines that defy the inevitable
pull of earth’s gravity.

In the grand narrative of recorded history, we often forget that it little more than a century ago—the blink of an eye—that the Wright Brothers ushered in a new era of transportation, commerce, observation, and warfare. The convenience and wonder of flight is regularly challenged by fear: terrorism, disease transmission, surveillance, and tragedy.

Lile Stephens, Quadcopter

Lile Stephens, Quadcopter

I will be exhibiting a body of work that calls to mind this dark side of flight, asking us to consider whether we have mastered this technology, or has it mastered us?

In order to understand this question, I will be conducting a two-day workshop on remote aircraft, or
drones. Participants will learn how to pilot these small aircraft in addition to building a quadcopter from the ground up.

The class will be divided into two teams that will work together towards a series of tasks, helping each other accurately and responsibly use this exciting technology. Throughout the workshop, there will be discussions focused on the ethical implications of remote flight and surveillance.

Upon completion, the participants and I will have worked together to assemble and program a full-size quadcopter drone. I will be asking three or four of the most advanced pilots to take part in the opening reception, with the potential of taking home their own remote controlled toy as compensation.

Remote Aircraft Workshop with Lile Stephens:
Saturday, August 15: 12 – 4pm
Sunday, August 16, 12 – 4pm
Tuition: $50

Find out more and register online.

Lile Stephens is an artist and educator based in Durham, North Carolina. An advocate for informed and responsible use of technology, he is currently working for the nonprofit Kramden Institute teaching digital literacy and open-source software. Born in Alabama, he grew up in Arkansas where he eventually received his BFA and MA from Arkansas State University before moving to Chapel Hill. He received his MFA from the University of North Carolina in 2014.

Special thanks to PNC, the Kramden Institute and the Maurer Foundation for their generous support of Lile Stephens’ Residency, Exhibition and Workshop.


About Annah Lee

Annah Lee is the Director of Artistic Programs at Artspace.

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