Wednesday, February 06, 2008

NOYFB - the work of Trevor Paglen

We find ourselves in a time where the life of the individual becomes ever more public and transparent. This is starkly contrasted by the growing opaqueness of our institutions and government. With this reality trend in mind, We make money not art has a good primer on the
work being done by Trevor Paglen.

Paglen works at the border of art and research and is currently completing a PhD in the Department of Geography at the University of California at Berkeley. His artistic work deliberately blurs the lines between social science, contemporary art, and other more obscure disciplines in order to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to interpret the world around us. He has published two books (Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA's Rendition Flights (Amazon USA and UK) which documents the use by the CIA of modified commercial aircraft for extraordinary rendition; and I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me (Amazon USA and UK) about the secret world of military imagery and jargon revealed by patches from classified projects) and is currently preparing the third one (Blank Spots on a Map,
Paglen's work is fascinating to say the least. The core question being -
How do we study something that doesn't exist? Something that must stay hidden?"
It's a great question for the now. How do you engage phenomena which are only detectable through the influence they exercise on the visible world? Take some time to read the run down of his projects as the conceptual frameworks are deep and extremely current.

Code Names, 2005 Trevor Paglen
NOYFB. Fabric patch, Ed. of 20, 2006 Trevor Paglen

tip via Kazyz Varnelis

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