Trevor Paglen's PACE show profiled in The Guardian

15 Sep, 2020

Trevor Paglen's PACE show profiled in The Guardian

Trevor Paglen's PACE show profiled in The Guardian. The Pace Gallery (London, and online) presents the idea that artist’s AI images of nature are not what they seem – and they aren’t the only things being watched in this mind-boggling show about surveillance.

Previously, he has photographed secret military installations in the desert and taken long-exposure pictures of the night sky that at first glance look like astronomy, but in reality record the paths of satellites watching our every move. The white walls and partitions of the gallery are hung with what look like artworks. Big photographs of flowers and woodlands bring the outdoors into this city interior. Paglen appears to have turned to nature for solace during lockdown. Like David Hockney and Nan Goldin, who have produced lockdown images of trees and flowers, he has wandered in pastoral meadows to relieve the stress – or so it seems. Except these meadows are unreal. They were produced using artificial intelligence. The harder you look, the less soothing they are. The colours are hyper-intense yet unseasonal. The leaves and petals are brittle, even plasticky.

From the article:

Paglen’s show is participatory – but in a cold, voyeuristic way, without the consent of the gallery visitor. Sure, there’s a warning that you will be webcast. But, short of refusing to enter the space, you have nowhere to hide.

Click here to read more about his artwork.