Jordan Crandall's Unmanned is a piece of "philosophical theater": a blend of performance art, political allegory, philosophical speculation, and intimate reverie that explores the changing nature of masculinity in the face of automated technologies of war. Jordan conducts a series of monologues in the guise of seven different characters, supplemented with stage action, video, and sound. Each character is an archetype of masculine identity struggling with its own agency and role in the field of deployment -- historically, the most complex issue in the field of military endeavor.
The action takes place in the desert borderlands of the American Southwest and revolves around the crash of a drone into a surburban backyard. The crash is investigated through the agency of a detective who attempts to discover its cause -- the place where the fault resides. Along with a trucker/cowboy who searches for drone crashes along the borderzone, he helps orient the performance away from the failure itself and instead, toward its productive power. The crash becomes a destabilizing force that dislodges conventional associations and reorganizes the field of awareness. With actors rendered newly mobile, all kinds of novel players enter the scene, and a new ontological framework begins to take shape.