Trevor Paglen, Secession 2010, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler
Trevor Paglen, Secession 2010, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler


The work of American artist, writer and experimental geographer Trevor Paglen centres on a political and aesthetic engagement with the covert activities of the U.S. secret services and military, collectively known by the name “Black World”. His motto might well be: “Make the invisible visible”. His work is based on attentive observation, meticulous research and extensive data collection.


Trevor Paglen, Secession 2010, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler
Trevor Paglen, Secession 2010, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler


To realize his works – mostly photographs and video pieces - Paglen uses technologically advanced equipment including the kind of special cameras and precision telescopes utilized in space photography. In this way, he is able to photograph, from great distances, classified military facilities buffered by huge areas of restricted land, or, using long exposures, to document the flight paths – and thus the existence - of satellites. Cooperation with international amateur networks of aircraft and satellite spotters and the information they provide form the basis for identifying the satellites and orbits used by the CIA for its seamless surveillance of the world.


Trevor Paglen, Secession 2010, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler
Trevor Paglen, Secession 2010, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler


The artist’s investigative approach is predicated on a critical examination of the historical and cultural conditions of perception.

On one hand, Paglen is interested in phenomena not visible to the naked eye, such as satellites, drones, and their flight paths. But his artistic activity also focuses on the hidden and concealed, such as the military facilities located in the deserts of the United States and surrounded by large exclusion zones, that do not feature on any official map. On the other hand, Paglen’s attention (and that of the viewer) is focused on phenomena that are very much visible to the naked eye, but which, thanks to their being camouflaged as ordinary (e.g., the countless code and cover names for secret military programmes) or due to a lack of political awareness and interest, are simply not perceived by the majority of the population.

Trevor Paglen is concerned, then, with heightening awareness of the fact that the so-called “Black World” really does exist.


Trevor Paglen, Secession 2010, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler
Trevor Paglen, Secession 2010, Photo: Wolfgang Thaler


BIOGRAPHICAL OUTLINE
Trevor Paglen (born 1974 in Maryland, USA) is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer. His publications include Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes, Aperture Foundation, New York 2010; Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World, Penguin Publishers, New York 2009; I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s Black World, Melville House, Brooklyn 2007 und Trevor Paglen & A. C. Thompson, Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA’s Rendition Flights, Melville House, Brooklyn 2006.


Trevor Paglen, They Whatch the Moon, 2010
Trevor Paglen, They Whatch the Moon, 2010



CATALOGUE

Katalog TREVOR PAGLEN

56 pages, dimension: 23 x 31 cm, Swiss Book Binding
Author: Brian Holmes, German/English
Secession 2010, ISBN 978-3-902592-35-4
Distribution: Revolver Verlag
___________________

available in the shop



In cooperation with Monat der Fotografie



The Secession is supported by:
Erste Bank – Partner of the Secession
Wien Kultur
Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur
Friends of the Secession

Cooperation-, Mediapartners, Non-Cash Benefit:
Der Standard
Ö1 Club
Silver Server
hs art service austria GmbH.
Trumer Privatbrauerei



MANFRED PERNICE    MARIA BUSSMANN EXHIBITION PROGRAM 2010



For further information and photographic material please contact:

Karin Jaschke
Secession, Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession
Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna
Tel: +43-1-5875307-21, Fax: +43-1-5875307-34
presse@secession.at