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Trevor Paglen in "Secrets"Preview

In this preview from the Art21 Art in the Twenty-First Century Season 7 episode, Secrets, artist Trevor Paglen describes the inspiration that he has drawn from early NASA spacecraft.

Shown at work on Prototype for a Nonfunctional Satellite (Design 4; Build 4) (2013) from a San Antonio, Texas hanger in 2013, the artist reflects upon the aesthetic and functional properties of spacecraft from the 1950s and 1960s.

“A lot of artists at that time were looking at them as aesthetic objects,” says Paglen, referring to the early spacecraft. “Maybe there was a different direction. In that moment is something that I’m very much trying to understand.”

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Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Through the Art21 Translation Project, multilingual audiences from around the globe can contribute translations, making Art21 films more accessible worldwide.


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Trevor Paglen

Trained as a geographer and photographer, Trevor Paglen makes the invisible visible by documenting the American surveillance state of the 21st century. He photographs distant military facilities, capturing extreme telephoto images of stealth drones; and turning his vision to the night sky, he traces the paths of information-gathering satellites. Mapping the ways in which the convergence of aesthetics, industrial design, and politics influence how we see and understand the world, he shows us images that go beyond straightforward journalistic documentation, giving voice to shifting ideas of the landscape of the American West, humankind’s place in the cosmos, and the surveillance state.

More Season 7 Previews

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