Trevor Paglen photographs the invisible -- and sinister


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Usually, artists photograph what they can see in the camera’s viewfinder. Not Trevor Paglen -- at least, not always.

Sometimes he aims his camera at the night sky, where a multi-hour exposure can record spy satellites that can’t be seen by the naked eye revolving around the Earth. Other times he points the lens toward secret U.S. military installations -- 30, 40 miles and more away in the remote deserts of the West. And once in a while he runs pictures found on the Internet through a printer, presenting faked ‘portraits’ of known CIA operatives.


‘Invisible: Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes,’ the first monograph on the Oakland-based artist, has just been published by Aperture. My Critic’s Notebook in Friday’s Calendar takes a look inside its fascinating pages.

-- Christopher Knight