Monday Night 08.08.05 –Presentation/Discussion: The Secret Bases: Exploring the Pentagon’s “Black World” (Trevor Paglen)

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Monday Night 08.08.05 –Presentation/Discussion: The Secret Bases: Exploring the Pentagon’s “Black World” (Trevor Paglen)
1. About Monday Night
2. Project Description
3. Links
4. About Trevor Paglen
1. This Monday:
What: Presentation / Discussion / Trevor Paglen
Where: 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor (directions below)
When: Monday Night 08.08.05 @ 7:30 Pm
Who: Open To All
This Monday we are happy to invite Trevor Paglen back to 16Beaver for a presentation of his latest research. Below you will find a project description along with some useful links. We hope you will make it for what should be a really interesting evening.
2. Project Description:
The Secret Bases: Exploring the Pentagon’s “Black World”
The amount of money spent on secret Pentagon projects – the so-called “black budget” – has reached unprecedented levels in the past few years. This level of hidden military spending translates into a variety of extremely peculiar built environments and landscapes. From the popular phenomenon of “Area 51,” to discreet locales like the Helendale Avionics Facility, the Southwest is littered with places where the military develops, tests, and operates technologies that “do not exist.” Among industry insiders, these clandestine infrastructures and secret bases are collectively known as the “black world.”
For geographers and cultural producers, hidden military landscapes pose bizarre visual and epistemic challenges and paradoxes. How might we see places whose very existence is a state secret? What are some empirical means that we can use to detect the presence of carefully constructed absences? What happens when the norms of visuality and intelligibility begin to collapse? What do these epistemic limit-cases look like? What do they sound like?
In order to pursue this project, I have developed some unorthodox methods to research and document traces of hidden military landscapes, movements, and economies. These techniques include “limit telephotography,” symbology, ad-hoc participatory anthropology, amateur geospatial intelligence collection, plane-spotting, and military communications monitoring. In this presentation, I will demonstrate some of these unusual techniques and discuss some of the projects that have come out of these efforts.
3. Links:
Trevor Paglen http://www.paglen.com/
“Spying on the Government” – An article from the SF Bay Guardian. http://www.sfbg.com/39/31/cover_spying_on_the_government.html
The Federation of American Scientists’s Area 51 page
Global Security – Military analyst John Pike’s site http://www.sfbg.com/39/31/cover_spying_on_the_government.html
Monday Night 06.30.03 — Prison Series — Trevor Paglen — “Listening to Pelican Bay” — 06.27.03
4. About
Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer working out of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is writing a doctoral dissertation about the spatial aspects of military secrecy.
His projects deliberately blur the lines between social science, contemporary art, and a host of even more obscure disciplines in order to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched, ways to interpret the world around us.
Paglen’s artwork has shown at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (2003), U.C. San Diego (2004), the California College of the Arts (2002), the LAB (2005), and numerous other arts venues, universities, conferences, and public spaces. He is a contributing editor to the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest and develops tactical media projects with the prison-abolitionist group Critical Resistance. Paglen’s writing has been published in Blu Magazine, the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Art Journal, and will be included in the upcoming collection Inhuman Geographies/Spaces of Political Violence (Routledge, 2006).
Paglen holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.F.A. in Art and Technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
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