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

Track of Interest: Exercise Vigilant Eagle 13 [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 exercise was the fifth in a series of cooperative exercises that provided an opportunity for Russia, Canada, and United States militaries to enhance their international partnerships and to cooperatively detect, track, identify, and follow a hijacked aircraft as it proceeds across international boundaries. 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.