new-york

Trevor Paglen, NSA-Tapped Fiber Optic Cable Landing Site, Morro Bay, California, United States, 2015, C-print, mixed media on navigational chart, 48 × 60".

Trevor Paglen

Metro Pictures

Trevor Paglen, NSA-Tapped Fiber Optic Cable Landing Site, Morro Bay, California, United States, 2015, C-print, mixed media on navigational chart, 48 × 60".

Curious viewers looking for advance information on Trevor Paglen’s recent exhibition at Metro Pictures in the run-up to its opening probably encountered a rather unusual promotional tease created by the artist, an obliquely ominous “trailer” of sorts advertising the show, posted on the gallery’s website and picked up by numerous other online outlets. Clocking in at just over a minute, the video features only the names of the artist and gallery and the dates of the show interspersed among a sequence of loosely related images—a placid seascape, a scuba diver descending through murky water, a web of wires, a distant phalanx of gleaming white radomes—accompanied by a disquieting audio track of lowering technological hums and chitters.

It turns out the trailer was essentially a highly abridged version of Eighty Nine Landscapes (all works 2015), a twenty-four-minute, two-channel

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