Wednesday, April 6, 2011

04.06.11 : Guest Lecture Response : Trevor Paglen

Bio : Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer whose work deliberately blurs lines between social science, contemporary art, journalism, and other disciplines to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to see and interpret the world around us.
Favorite Quotes:
"Follow the money."
"Don't let your planes into the wrong hands."
"No One Kicks Ass Without Tanker Gas"
**"The limits of our ability to see."**

** I enjoyed the segment of his lecture on light and the face that it can collapse. He refered to our inability to see things when talking about satellites and the ability to photograph things from far away. I like the idea that we are incapable of seeing everything. I think that's what makes things like art and science so interesting and why they can work together.
3 Words : Geographic, Statical Artist
I thought that the false patches were really interesting and the interpretations were humorous on may of them. I thought that the whole idea of there being people who kidnap, torture, and kill people are members of our own community is a really intriguing notion. The concept that we don't know our neighbors or friends to the full extent is a common theme in our society. I think seeing the code names in different writing was also very interesting.
Did your interest in geography develop concurrent with your interest in art-making? Or, did one come before the other?
He has been an artist my whole life – much longer than he has been a geographer. He received his MFA at Chicago. It wasn't until later his his life that he moved to Berkeley and got his PhD in geography.

How does technology effect you art-making process?
It seemed to me that technology had a lot to do with his projects. The high tech cameras he used in his "The Open Night Sky" project are very complicated and use multiple camera and computers.
My favorite piece was the piece about light collapse and abstraction. He described using a 5000mm lens to photograph landscapes. Trevor Paglen’s photographs of secret CIA and US military installations, shot with an astrophotography lens from up to 65 miles away.

Reduced Visibility

What I enjoyed about this piece was the abstraction of light that was formed at a distance. I didn't know that heat and light would be able to collapse in this manner. I thought it was interesting too that he referenced these pieces back to many early abstract paintings and drawing. These similarities between them were remarkable.

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