Out of Darkness Floods the Light

An English Landscape (American Surveillance Base near Harrogate, Yorkshire artwork

TREVOR PAGLEN: TYPICAL ENGLISH LANDSCAPE

Tomorrow morning, users of a London tube station will witness the launch of an important new installation by artist Trevor Paglen, whose brave geography of black sites and other official invisibles disrupts the ignorant passivity required by the ever-expanding global surveillance state, and renders into light that which exists to render into darkness:

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Given the prevailing fashion for conceptually opaque art works, generating press releases that can be deciphered only by a tiny handful of pomo mandarins, Paglen’s explanation for this exceptional aesthetic-empirical work, as given in a recent interview, is refreshingly lucid and direct:

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THE SALT PIT

THE SALT PIT: DESERT OBSCURITY BROUGHT BACK INTO THE SUN

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WHERE'S THE REAPER?

DRONE ZONE IN RED: WHERE’S THE REAPER?

Unsurprisingly, Paglen goes on to trace the genesis of his shadowland geography back to the events of 9/11, and the US response:

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We are reminded of the interview on 9/16 with Dick Cheney, as he “carefully” (and oh so smugly) hints at his future as a war criminal:

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ENTRANCE TO THE SOUL OF DICK CHENEY

ENTRANCE TO THE SOUL OF DICK CHENEY

An excellent forensic discussion of the geography of state secrecy and deception, with specific trackings and tracings performed by Paglen himself, can be found by clicking the below image; if you ever had any doubt that state paranoia always ends in lunacy, we recommend close viewing. Finally, his perception that we are in the midst of a massive cultural shift from a visual regime of representation to an operational regime where the visual is actually a totally invisible data stream strikes us as immensely important, and not just for the art world.

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