PHOTOGRAPHER MONOGRAPHS

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Aperture

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Hardcover, 9.5 x 10.75 in. / 160 pgs / 69 color / 8 duotone.

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ISBN 9781597111300 TRADE
List Price: $49.95 CDN $60.00

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Invisibility... sets its actions and modes of operating out of reach of criticism and dissent.
Rebecca Solnit, excerpted from her text

  

APERTURE

Trevor Paglen: Invisible

Covert Operations and Classified Landscapes

Text by Rebecca Solnit.

Trevor Paglen: InvisibleInvisible: 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 the U.S. military and intelligence agencies--the "black world"--for the last eight years, publishing, speaking and making astonishing photographs. As an artist, Paglen is interested in the idea of photography as truth-telling, but his pictures often stop short of traditional ideas of documentation. In the series Limit Telephotography, for example, he employs high-end optical systems to photograph top-secret governmental sites; and in The Other Night Sky, he uses the data of amateur satellite watchers to track and photograph classified spacecraft in Earth's orbit. In other works Paglen transforms documents such as passports, flight data and aliases of CIA operatives into art objects. Rebecca Solnit contributes a searing essay that traces this history of clandestine military activity on the American landscape.

Featured image is Trevor Paglen's photograph, Nine Reconnaissance Satellites over the Sonora Pass, 2008. This image is a four-hour time-lapse exposure of the northern sky over the Sierra Nevada. Visible in the sky are at least ten satellites, nine of which are American and Russian reconnaissance satellites. In addition to these satellites, there are numerous airplane trails in the image. They can be distinguished from satellites by the series of dots along their paths.

Trevor Paglen: Invisible

FROM THE BOOK
"We still tend to think of war as an activity, and an activity confined to a place, to the battlefield…Perhaps it would be better to regard war as akin to wildfire or contagious disease that may flare up anywhere in the affected region, though human beings and their weapons are in this case the pathogens or sparks…The U.S. has several hundred bases around the world, in sixty-three countries, on every continent but Antarctica, and spends as much on its military as all other nations put together…There are many kinds of invisibility. There is the invisibility of what is so taken for granted that few see it, the custom of the country, the water in which the fish swim…There is the invisibility of what is literally out of sight on remote military bases, weapons laboratories and kept out of public scrutiny…Then there is the invisibility of what is literally hard or impossible to see. This includes planes, space, shuttles, satellites, and drones above the earth, as well as forces--radioactive, biological, chemical--that are not visible to the naked eye…Invisibility grants advantage over enemies unable to predict your actions or counterattack; it protects exclusive knowledge and technology; and it sets its actions and modes of operating out of reach of criticism and dissent."

Rebecca Solnit, excerpted from her text to Invisible.

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