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David Maisel: Proving Ground
Text by Geoff Manaugh, Tyler Green, William L. Fox, David Maisel, Katie Lee-Koven.
Aerial and on-site photographs made at a classified military site in the Great Salt Lake Desert by David Maisel, author of Black Maps
David Maiselís (born 1961) Proving Ground comprises aerial and on-site photographs made at Dugway Proving Ground, a classified military site covering nearly 800,000 acres in Utahís Great Salt Lake Desert. A primary mission of Dugway is to develop, test and implement chemical and biological weaponry and defense programs. After more than a decade of inquiry, Maisel was granted access to this facility in order to photograph the terrain, the testing facilities and other aspects of the site.
Maisel began by photographing at ground level, focusing on structures related to the testing of chemical warfare dispersal patterns. He then moved to an aerial perspective to create images that resemble large-scale minimalist drawings inscribed on the land. Maiselís work at Dugway also includes photographs of the newly minted WSLAT (Whole System Live Agent Test) facility, which is devoted to identification and neutralization of chemical and biological toxins that can be weaponized by terrorists or rogue nations.
Featured image is reproduced from 'David Maisel: Proving Ground.'
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Modern Art Notes Podcast
[A]n extended meditation on land use in the American West, secrecy, and the dangers present in that which we can and cannot see.
[Maisel's] black-and-white aerial images are decidedly abstract; each occupies a full page and shows a geometric landscape of roads and grid markers. Interspersed among these maplike images are equally clinical color photos of gleaming laboratory equipment used for biological and toxic-gas experiments. ... [Reveals] the disaster the military has wreaked on the American West.
UPS GROUND IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S.
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