Trevor Paglen: Limit Telephotography (still)
Trevor Paglen: Limit Telephotography (still)

TREVOR PAGLEN ON ART21


27 March 2015

All of this will make sense one day.

Trevor Paglen, Geographies of Seeing, at Lighthouse in 2012
Trevor Paglen, Geographies of Seeing, at Lighthouse in 2012

“In this episode of Art21, Trevor Paglen takes photographs for his “Limit Telephotography” series from the edge of the Tonopah Test Range, a classified military site in the Nevada desert. By attaching a telescope to his camera through a special lens, Paglen is able to photograph military structures and classified aircraft from publicly accessible land many miles away. Because of atmospheric conditions such as convection waves and dust, the images are distorted and often unidentifiable. As a result, Paglen says he is not only photographing something at an extreme distance but also “photographing the limitations of one’s own vision.” In referencing the highly descriptive titles he gives to each photograph, Paglen says, “It’s not clear to me that images really mean anything other than the meanings we attribute to them.”

Trevor Paglen makes the invisible visible, documenting evidence of the American surveillance state of the 21st century. Concerned with the politics of perception, Paglen investigates the development of machines that see and the historical relationship between photography and military technology."


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