| || |
Trevor Paglen: From the Archives of Peter Merlin, Aviation Archaeologist
Text by Trevor Paglen.
Commemorative coins, patches, mugs and other ephemera from the shadowy world of US military aviation and aerospace
In From the Archives of Peter Merlin, Aviation Archaeologist, multidisciplinary artist Trevor Paglen (born 1974) collaborates with Peter Merlin, a former NASA archivist, on this new artist’s book featuring a photographic inventory of objects from the aerospace historian’s archive of research culled from military bases such as Area 51.
Featuring images of challenge coins, patches and commemorative mugs from within these bases, as well as debris recovered from the surrounding crash sites, the book presents both a social and technological investigation into the US government’s secret aviation history from the atomic age to today's drone wreckage.
The symbols and texts featured on these objects that celebrate covert missions range in character from goofy to sinister, though their actual meaning may never be fully explained to the public. In addition to photographic images, the book includes an essay by Paglen as well as in-depth captions of the archive’s inventory, offering context for this history and addressing the present-day ramifications of these military advancements across the realms of communication, surveillance and warfare.
Image caption: "Baseballs of Death." This is an inert example of a BLU-26 submunition. A cluster bomb dispenses hundreds of these bomblets for antipersonnel warfare and area denial. The small wing shapes spin the bomblet as it falls, using centrifugal force to arm the detonator. The device may be set to explode on impact or at a later time, releasing hundreds of steel pellets. An international treaty signed by 108 nations bans the use of cluster munitions; the United States is not a signatory.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
[Merlin's collection] offer[s] rare insight into the shadowy machinations of the state, the violence and surveillance committed in our name.
UPS GROUND IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S.
FOR CONSUMER ONLINE ORDERS
FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/20/2019
Featured image, an emblem for the headquarters of the United States Air Force Space Command program, Cyber Warfare Division, is reproduced from Trevor Paglen's new artist's book collecting fascinating ephemera produced around covert aerospace operations from the archives of Peter Merlin, aviation archaeologist. "Merlin's work as an aerospace archaeologist is animated by a simple premise," Paglen writes, "'Something always remains.' Everything that happens in the world leaves some kind of trace, whether it's paperwork, cultural artifacts, anecdotes or material remnants of the event itself… The segments of aircraft, the totemic patches and coins, the desk models, rocket ignition keys, ID cards and pamphlets in Merlin's collection recall the fossilized dinosaur eggs left over from a planetary crisis, albeit one that is far from over. They speak to a moment in time when the apocalypse was near: a moment in which political superpowers built stealth bombers and nuclear weapons with the potential to devastate the planet as thoroughly as the Chicxulub asteroid. Some of these artifacts tell their own stories. Most do not. Nonetheless, they are fragments of human undertakings whose implications remain largely unknown. The ultimate legacy of the programs they were affiliated with may be one of the greatest mysteries surrounding these bits of material culture." continue to blog
USD $20.00 | CAN $29.95
Pub Date: 5/21/2019
Active | In stock