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"1 and Two Unidentified Spacecraft Over Carson City”

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Off the Grid

By Angela Ashman

Trevor paglen “STSS-1 and Two unidentified spacecraft over carson city” photo by Gene Young, courtesy of Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan © 2010

01.18.19

Trevor Paglen’s latest exhibition confirms what we already knew to be true.

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched? With exhibition Sites Unseen (Feb. 22 to June 2) at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, MacArthur award–winning artist Trevor Paglen confirms your most paranoid suspicions as he explores the many ways we are under surveillance in the 21st century. “Paglen’s lush photographs depict sublime expanses of land, sky and sea, with atmospheric effects recalling impressionist painting,” says MCASD curator Jill Dawsey. “Yet these images, in fact, reveal classified military sites, spy satellites and drones intended to be invisible to the naked eye.” You can also check out his work with artificial intelligence or try his “Autonomy Cube,” which allows you to search the internet on a secure Tor network that protects your data from government and corporate snoops. Take that, Big Brother!