Communion Of Dreams

Someone is watching you.
June 25, 2008, 9:08 am
Filed under: Art, Astronomy, Civil Rights, Daily Kos, Government, Politics, Press, Privacy, Society, Space, tech, Wired

Someone is watching you:

BERKELEY, California — For most people, photographing something that isn’t there might be tough. Not so for Trevor Paglen.

His shots of 189 secret spy satellites are the subject of a new exhibit — despite the fact that, officially speaking, the satellites don’t exist. The Other Night Sky, on display at the University of California at Berkeley Art Museum through September 14, is only a small selection from the 1,500 astrophotographs Paglen has taken thus far.

* * *

While all of Paglen’s projects are the result of meticulous research, he’s also the first to admit that his photos aren’t necessarily revelatory. That’s by design. Like the blurry abstractions of his super-telephoto images showing secret military installations in Nevada, the tiny blips of satellites streaking across the night sky in his new series of photos are meant more as reminders rather than as documentation.

It’s art, people. And art can have a purpose and an impact which is more powerful and insightful than journalism. Paglan is an interesting guy, but too often his stuff is used as some kind of substitute for actual journalism. I suppose in an era when so much our government does is tacitly ignored by the mainstream press this is understandable, but it almost misses the point.


Jim Downey

Cross posted to dKos.

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