Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes
Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes
Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes
Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes
Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes
Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes
Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes
Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes

Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes

Andrew Sloat, New York, New York, 2010

Description

Project brief: Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes is Trevor Paglen’s long-awaited first photographic monograph. Social scientist, artist, writer and provocateur, Paglen has been exploring the secret activities of U.S. military and intelligence agencies (the “black world”) for the last eight years—publishing, speaking and taking astonishing photographs.

As an artist, Paglen is interested in the idea of photography as truth telling, but his mysterious, compelling pictures often stop short of traditional documentation.

Approach: In the series “Limit Telephotography,” he employs high-end optical systems to photograph top-secret government sites. In “The Other Night Sky,” Paglen works with the data of amateur satellite watchers to track and photograph classified spacecraft in Earth’s orbit. In other works, he roots out revealing yet arcane documents—passports, flight data, aliases of CIA operatives—and transforms them into art objects.

Effectiveness: Showcasing the artwork of an important emerging talent, Invisible speaks to the multidisciplinary practices employed by many of today’s most interesting contemporary artists. Rebecca Solnit, noted author on culture and photography, contributes a searing essay that traces this history of clandestine military activity on the American landscape.

Juror Notes

A photographic monograph about the “black world” of U.S. military and intelligence operations. Could be paranoid, could be true. Either way, this is an intriguing and beautiful book.

Collections: 50 Books/50 Covers of 2010
Discipline: Book design
Format: Book, Book cover

Credits

Designer
Andrew Sloat
Photographer
Trevor Paglen
Publisher
Aperture Foundation
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