Ad Choices, PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TREVOR PAGLEN AND METRO PICTURES, Sign up for our daily newsletter and get the best of. Available for sale from Altman Siegel, Trevor Paglen, Lenna: Empress of Invisible Images, Queen of the Internet (2017), Pigment print, 72 × 34 in facilities outside the United States—features grazing sheep, a farmer on a tractor in the background, and seagulls flying and squawking in the foreground. Trevor Paglen: The Octopus. All rights reserved. To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. When Paglen turned his attention to the undersea-cable system, he was surprised by its simplicity. By Kate Crawford and Trevor Paglen . Paglen deals with the materiality of the Internet and the massive data monitoring occurring over its channels. 1 / 4. In the decades since the first transatlantic fibre-optic telephone line was laid, in 1988, such cables have multiplied and spread as bandwidth demands have grown. to tap. To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. It is easy to sit in the comfort of your home and within just a few seconds, virtually place yourself anywhere in the world, that Google has imaged. We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. Trevor Paglen, aerial photo of National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, 2013. Trevor Paglen. The most important component of this plumbing is a cat’s cradle of undersea cables. Of late, he has trained his gaze on surveillance, going so far as to become a certified scuba diver in order to capture the underwater cables that enable the internet, which are tapped by the US National Security Agency. But Autonomy Cube does not provide a normal internet connection. The exhibition proceeds from there, each image or object imbued with some suggestion of the breadth of surveillance. Courtesy the artist. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Your California Privacy Rights. For the first time the Cube’s Tor relay serves as an exit-node by joining into the network of volunteer-run servers providing anonymous Internet access around the world, way beyond the boundaries of the gallery space. This structure has historical underpinnings. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family. Knowledge is power. Trevor Paglen's efforts to document the institutions and apparatuses of our surveillance society have taken him from the deserts of Nevada to the bottom of the ocean. Trevor Paglen thinks about being monitored by things you can't see: secret military bases, tapped cables, spy satellites. Although the locations of cables near shore can be roughly guessed at using nautical charts and G.P.S., their exact location is something of a mystery; Paglen and his team had to mark out a search grid to find and photograph them. In June 2018, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington DC opened Sites Unseen, Trevor Paglen… The aim of education is the knowledge, not of facts, but of values. Trevor Paglen is sitting on a curb in Altman Siegel’s parking lot, smoking and puffing away as he takes a break from installing his new exhibit at the gallery. © 2021 Condé Nast. [11 When I visit Paglen in early February, only the bare bones of his operation remain. To revisit this article, select My⁠ ⁠Account, then View saved stories. The Metro Pictures show, which spans three rooms in the gallery’s garagelike space, begins with a nod to this history: included in one of Paglen’s collages is a cartoon called “The Laying of the Cable,” which commemorates the completion of the first transatlantic telegraph line, in 1858. Trevor Paglen discusses 'From Apple to Anomaly' Trevor Paglen: On 'From Apple to Anomaly' Exploring the underbelly of our digital world, Trevor Paglen discusses the deeper meanings in his installation in The Curve, revealing the powerful, and often hidden, forces at play in artificial intelligence. The Internet was supposed to be the greatest tool of global communications and means of sharing knowledge in human history. There are thousands of miles of these cables, and initially, Paglen focused his research on the places where the cables converge and come ashore. For the past several years, Paglen has been researching and documenting the undersea fiber-optic cables that constitute the Internet. And it is. What is even harder to reckon with is the fact that this growing and critical network, as Edward Snowden proved, is perhaps the most powerful surveillance tool in the world. But it has also become the most effective instrument of mass surveillance and potentially one of the greatest instruments of totalitarianism in the history of the world. There is nothing higher than reason. Why won’t the President rein in the intelligence community? The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder. The Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art presents the Autonomy Cube by Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum. So one of the big topics in artificial intelligence on the internet is how to tell the difference between things that are spam, and not spam. A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. NEWS WORK PUBLICATIONS MEDIA BIOGRAPHY CONTACT. This creates choke points in the system, with many strands meeting in one place—easier for the companies that operate the cables to monitor, and easier for the N.S.A. Trevor Paglen is an artist whose work spans image-making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines. Another shot of the same site—known as Bude by the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters, and alleged to house one of the largest N.S.A. I'm working on a documentary that explores internet infrastructure and I'm trying to find ways to examine the physicality of the internet. Among his chief concerns are learning how to see the historical moment we live in and developing the means to imagine alternative futures. But it has also become the most effective instrument of mass surveillance and potentially one of the greatest instruments of totalitarianism in the history of the world. Atop a pedestal sits an imposingly futuristic cube made of inch-thick Lucite, enclosing several computer circuit boards. During filming, Paglen visited NSA whistleblower Bill Binney, who suggested the artist look into Internet infrastructure. The system that is in place is highly complex, but it has been simplified in order for the everyday person to use. Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile. Paglen has long focussed on what the show’s description calls “the geography and aesthetics” of the American surveillance state. WORK. Interview with Trevor Paglen Recent advancements in technology such as Google Earth and street-view, has given anyone with a computer and an internet connection the ability to collapse time and space. At the show’s opening reception, on a steamy and drizzly Manhattan evening that coincided with the first night of New York Fashion Week, it was clear that the glamorous art-seeking class had returned from their summer peregrinations and were bouncing from gallery to gallery through the West Twenties. Further one-person shows have been held at the Barbican, London; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno; Secession, … There are currently three hundred and forty-three of them already active or under construction, and they run more than half a million miles, traversing every ocean and connecting every continent except Antarctica, running up and down the coasts of Africa, through the Hawaiian Islands, and up into Alaska and Greenland. Trevor Paglen is an artist and geographer who explores and documents invisible infrastructures, ranging from secret corporate and government sites to networks known through technologies of non-human, machine vision. And it is. Paglen learned to scuba dive in order to trace the internet cables that carry vast amounts of data across the world’s ocean floors. And suddenly, there it was—the Internet. The cables themselves are on view in a series of four photos taken underwater, offshore from landing sites near Miami. Photograph: Courtesy Trevor Paglen/Metro Pictures, New York The artist’s Autonomy Cube lets gallery goers go online anonymously. The first step towards knowledge is to know that we are ignorant. I know Trevor Paglen has been mapping und. So he just sent a work of art into space. “The diving project came out of looking at these choke points, looking at the images, the charts, the maps, and saying, ‘Well, can you just go in there and find them?’ ” Paglen said. The crowd at Metro Pictures skewed nerdy but drew in plenty of these wanderers. The Museum officially announced the Orbital Reflector project at its 2017 Art + Environment Conference, where artist Trevor Paglen was a keynote presenter. Trevor Paglen: How Deep Is the Ocean, How High Is the Sky, Fotograf Gallery, Prague, October 6–November 4, 2017. In the middle of one table is Autonomy Cube, a sculpture made up of CPUs held in a vitrine that facilitates wireless internet access via the encrypted Tor network. A growing number of museums are installing Trevor Paglen's Tor node sculptures, offering their Internet bandwidth to the cause of online anonymity. Trevor Paglen’s new exhibition at Metro Pictures focuses on the unseen images of the Internet: the deep-sea cables that connect massive amounts of data across the globe, and now serve as vulnerable points in cyber warfare. Sean O'Hagan, writing in The Guardian, said that Paglen, whose "ongoing grand project the murky world of global state surveillance and the ethics of drone warfare", "is one of the most conceptually adventurous political artists working today, and has collaborated with scientists and … In 2018 his mid-career survey exhibition Sights Unseen was held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog. There is a leaked N.S.A. document that has been redacted to the point of being two large black rectangles; a two-foot-long model of the U.S.S. Artist Trevor Paglen introduces his work with the simple, and yet seemingly unanswerable question, “What does the internet look like?” Through varying mediums, Paglen gives tangible form to what usually feels both all-consuming and still impalpable: the internet, surveillance, satellite transmission, machine vision, data collection. Human behavior flows from three main sources: desire, emotion, and knowledge. A similar cultivation of complicity is at play elsewhere in the show, with Paglen’s sculpture “Autonomy Cube,” a collaboration with the digital-rights activist Jacob Appelbaum. Laura Poitras’s closeup view of Edward Snowden. Trevor Paglen, Bahamas Internet Cable System (BICS-1), NSA/GCHQ-Tapped Undersea Cable, Atlantic Ocean, 2015, C-print, 60 x 48 inches. Even if your involvement is as low-impact as selecting the “Autonomy Cube” network when it comes up on your smartphone, you become a small part of the fight for Internet privacy. Theory + Practice is a series supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Trevor Paglen: A Study of Invisible Images, Metro Pictures, New York, September 8–October 21, 2017. C-print. Trevor Paglen, NSA-Tapped Undersea Cables, North Pacific Ocean, 2016, c-print. The New Yorker may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. Available for sale from Pace Gallery, Trevor Paglen, Bloom (#9b746d) (2020), Dye sublimation print, 105.7 × 140 × 5.1 cm Kristen Knupp of Art Decision interviewed American artist Trevor Paglen at Pace Gallery, Geneva, for his new exhibition “The Shape of Clouds” which opened on September 3, 2019. The Internet was supposed to be the greatest tool of global communications and means of sharing knowledge in human history. Many of the new cables follow similar paths to the old telegraph and telephone lines, and many of the landing sites and switching stations are holdovers, too. Trevor Paglen: Behold These Glorious Times!, Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, September 11, 2017–January 6, 2018. Images courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures unless otherwise noted. Für diese Ausstellung erhielt Trevor Paglen den Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize 2016.. Eröffnung: 19. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. A sheet of metallic fabric hangs by the window on a clothesline. Jimmy Carter, a nuclear submarine that is reputed to have the ability to tap cables sitting on the ocean floor; a photo of the starry night sky with a spy satellite’s light trail barely visible at its center; and an endlessly scrolling list of hundreds of top-secret code names for N.S.A. The digital has increasingly figured in Paglen’s project of making the invisible visible and the visible invisible. Knowledge is power. Save this story for later. The best advice I ever got was that knowledge is power and to keep reading. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility. Save this story for later. Trevor Paglen explores the unseen networks of power that monitor and control us, documenting secret US government bases, offshore prisons and surveillance drones. Writer Genevieve Allison considers the effect of our viewing such obscured sites of power in Paglen’s latest series. (Paglen was in Berlin and I was in New York; the irony of our cable dependency was not lost on either of us.) artnet “It’s this rural, idyllic scene with these giant, like, alien balls that have dropped from space and landed there,” Paglen told me. “And they are actually talking to space—communicating with satellites—so it’s kind of appropriate.” Often shot from a great distance, the images in the video installation pulse and shimmer with heat distortions, the surreality heightened by Frank Kruse’s sound design. The artist Trevor Paglen’s latest exhibition, which opened recently at Metro Pictures Gallery, in Chelsea, is designed to help you in the reckoning. His book “Blank Spots on the Map,” from 2009, catalogues crucial sites in the country’s global spying network, and his video footage of some of them was included in “Citizenfour,” the Oscar-winning documentary on Snowden. It is designed to latch onto the gallery’s Internet connection and create a secure Wi-Fi hot spot, anonymizing all traffic over the Tor Network while simultaneously turning the gallery itself into a Tor relay point, to aid others across the globe in anonymizing their connections. The centerpiece of the show, in the final room, is a remarkable two-channel video installation made up of cast-off shots from the ninety hours of footage that Paglen shot for “Citizenfour.” Each of the wide-screen landscape panoramas is in some way intruded on by the apparatus of the surveillance state. operations (Electron Sword, Quantum Mush, Elegant Chaos, Ferret Cannon, Tiger Donut, Koala Punch). The resulting images are beautiful, suffused with a sinister deep-blue inkiness, each with an unnaturally straight black line running over the sand and detritus on the seafloor—the cable itself, just sitting there. All our knowledge begins with the senses, proceeds then to the understanding, and ends with reason. Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy. Trevor Paglen Plumbs the Internet. Trevor Paglen was born in 1974 in Camp Springs, Maryland, and lives and works in Berlin. The control of information is something the elite always does, particularly in a despotic form of government. Trevor Paglen’s surveillance-free safe space. Trevor Paglen The following text was adapted from a discussion inside the artist’s studio. Trevor Paglen is an American artist, geographer, and author whose work tackles mass surveillance and data collection. Trevor Paglen An inconspicuously elegant photograph of the nearby Point Arena coastline depicts one of dozens of sites around the world where sub-oceanic fiber optic lines meet the land and are tapped by the National Security Agency (NSA). The sculpture routs all of the Wi-Fi traffic over the Tor network, a global network of thousands of volunteer-run servers, relays, and services designed to help anonymize data Information, knowledge, is power. Juni 2015, 19 Uhr (im Rahmen der Eröffnung der Triennale RAY 2015), mit Bekanntgabe der Preisträger des Eagle-Eye Photo Contests durch Trevor Paglen um 20.30 Uhr … “The cables come ashore on the east coast of the U.S. in just a few main places—around New York, on Long Island and in New Jersey, and in Florida, around Miami,” he explained when we first spoke, via Skype. Trevor Paglen’s 2015 artwork, the Autonomy Cube, isn’t the kind of art that falls prey to the ‘my kid could do that’ school of layman’s criticism.Instead, it’s the kind of creation an IT professional might struggle to whip up in an afternoon. The metaphors we use to understand mass surveillance and the Internet tend to be very abstract, and often mystifying. 20.06.2015 — 30.08.2015. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY TREVOR PAGLEN … Those who lingered were drawn to the video installation’s lush images and pulsing soundscape, although many glanced away periodically at their phones, texting and e-mailing and posting photos, as though they hadn’t quite got the message. The late senator Ted Stevens, of Alaska, took flak for calling the Internet “a series of tubes,” but his phrase, however analog, hits on a truth that we frequently forget: there is a physical infrastructure undergirding our seemingly ethereal global network. Trevor Paglen, Bahamas Internet Cable System (BICS-1) NSA/GCHQ-Tapped Undersea Cable Atlantic Ocean, 2015. By Tim Soh n. September 22, 2015. Trevor Paglen: Bloom / Pace Gallery / London / reviewed by Katie Smith. BrainyQuote has been providing inspirational quotes since 2001 to our worldwide community. A computer functions on far more than a click of a few buttons. To know that we know what we know, and to know that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge. If you can control information, you can control people. And another. Trevor Paglen’s new work focuses on the everyday material reality of the Internet and mass data surveillance. Digital photograph, from Wikimedia Commons. He did not know how to scuba dive, so he learned. Information is power. In one early shot, in Cornwall, England, a pastoral scene of green hills and hay bales is broken up by a dystopian array of white radomes. It can be hard to imagine—the Internet itself passing just below the waves of that surf break in California, through the rocks of a craggy coastline in England, over the aquamarine-tinged reefs of southern Florida, under your towel at a beach on Long Island. Photography by Trevor Paglen. artnet News' Brian Boucher descends under the Atlantic Ocean with artist Trevor Paglen to take a peek at the Internet's underwater infrastructure. The smoke rises and swirls into the air as Paglen takes another puff. Paglen is spying on the spies, and you are spying with him. ... ImageNet grew enormous: the development team scraped a collection of many millions of images from the internet and briefly became the world's largest academic user of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, using an army of piecemeal workers to sort an average of 50 images per minute into thousands of categories. Information is liberating. 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