Track of Interest: Exercise Vigilant Eagle 13

Track of Interest: Exercise Vigilant Eagle 13

Future Station: 2015 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art
Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta
24 January - 3 May, 2015

[video (10 minutes)]

A participant in the Canadian Forces Artists Program (CFAP) (2012-13), Kavanagh visited Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska with North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and the Russian Federation Air Force (RFAF). During a live-fly, simulated hijacking, staged across Alaskan and Russian airspace, Kavanagh flew on the "track of interest" as part of Exercise Vigilant Eagle 13. This training exercise was designed to coordinate air intercept missions between the United States, Canada and Russia, with the intention of bringing the countries closer together in the fight against global terrorism. Post-Cold War military exercises between the U.S. and Russia were forged following 9/11 during an era of heightened paranoia. In 2014 all such collaborations were cancelled.

The resultant short film, Track of Interest: Exercise Vigilant Eagle 13, considers the spectre of nuclear war through a sequence of double images that juxtapose military forces with powerful natural forces of the Alaskan North.

CFAP is a uniquely designed war art program adjudicated by leading arts professionals in Canada. Participants are embedded alongside military personnel and receive extensive orientation to experience the Canadian Forces in action on the international stage. Work produced through this program remains the intellectual property of the artist with no contractual obligation binding the views expressed in the work.