new-york

Trevor Paglen

Bellwether

Trevor Paglen’s “Black World” broaches the deadly extremities of our neoauthoritarian state, which since the inception of perpetual war half a decade ago has been pursuing its announced goal of “global military supremacy.” Paglen employs techniques borrowed from astronomy to photograph, at times from miles away, some of the military industrial complex’s most secret installations. These include a CIA torture prison in Afghanistan (shown in Salt Pit, Shomali Plains Northeast of Kabul . . . , 2006) and the infamous Area 51 of conspiracy lore: a Connecticut-size covert research facility in the south Nevada desert one of whose Air Force names is “probably,” as Paglen notes, Detachment 3, Air Force Flight Test Center. This nominal ambiguity is itself indicative of the interminable vagaries attending our nascent police state, whose propaganda aims to deprive us of the ability to determine power’s

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