Alum Trevor Paglen Builds Cryptographic Puzzle in Flag for Creative Time

20 Mar, 2018

Alum Trevor Paglen Builds Cryptographic Puzzle in Flag for Creative Time


Paglen's Weeping Angel flag has been featured in Art News, "Institutions Across America to Fly Trevor Paglen’s ‘Weeping Angel’ Flag."

From the article:

"Featuring a weeping angel surrounded by code, the flag is part of “Pledges of Allegiance,” an initiative mounted by New York’s Creative Time for which artist-designed flags have been raised in opposition to the election of President Donald Trump.

"Paglen, who was awarded a MacArthur “genius” grant last year, named the flag Weeping Angel in reference to a tool used by the Central Intelligence Agency to spy on Americans by secretly using cameras switched to “off” mode in internet-connected TVs. But the references need not be limited to surveillance technology—according to a release, Paglen is also nodding to the TV series Doctor Who, which features a fan-favorite episode about sculptures called Weeping Angels that watch unsuspecting Brits."

Read the article here.

Original Post:

Alum Trevor Paglen has contributed "Weeping Angel" to Creative Time's Pledges of Allegiance. His flag is on display form March 14 - April 4, 2018.

Pledges of Allegiance is a serialized commission of sixteen flags. Each flag points to an issue the artist is passionate about, a cause they believe is worth fighting for, and speaks to how we might move forward collectively. Conceived in response to the current political climate, Pledges of Allegiance aims to inspire a sense of community among cultural institutions, and begin articulating the urgent response our political moment demands.

From the website:

"Trevor Paglen, known for his unflinching critique of the surveillance state, creates a flag that further enhances our “visual vocabulary” on this pressing issue. The image of the weeping angel surrounded by code is a multivalent one; Weeping Angel, is the name for a hacking tool that the CIA reportedly developed to spy on citizens, in which internet-connected TVs would be retooled to be in a fake “off” mode but covertly send recordings back. Alternately, the angels may also reference sci-fi villains from the Dr. Who series or a term from quantum physics describing entities that cease to exist if one attempts to observe them."

Paglen included a series of code in his flag and invited viewers to unpack the puzzle.

Read more about Pledges of Allegiance here and see if you can solve the mystery!