Trevor Paglen in e-flux's Criticism

08 Jun, 2023

Trevor Paglen in e-flux's Criticism

Alum and artist Trevor Paglen's work has recently been featured in e-flux Criticism. The article "On Trevor Paglen’s unstable truths" by ​R.H. Lossin discusses hiw work exploring the relationship between truth, interpretation, and state secrecy through photography. It reflects on the Iraq War and the manipulation of images used to justify the invasion, highlighting the power of interpretation over truth. Paglen's photography captures military infrastructure and unknown objects, challenging the viewer's perception of reality. The article emphasizes the importance of acknowledging the existence of conspiracy, deception, and manipulation in our understanding of the world and suggests that a concept of knowledge based on stable truth is a strategy of misdirection.

Paglen's photographs in the series "The Other Night Sky" focus on capturing and categorizing orbiting traces of military activities, including satellites and drones. These images expose the vulnerability inherent in the act of interpretation, as the artist challenges the viewer to confront the ambiguity and obstructions present in the photographs. By photographing space debris and military objects against the backdrop of the sky, Paglen disrupts the traditional aesthetics and associations with truth that are often associated with celestial phenomena. The article argues that truth is a fluid and elusive concept, shaped by desire and interpretation, and that Paglen's work prompts a reconsideration of how we perceive and construct truth.

Read the Full Article Here!