Continue playing

(Time remaining: )

Play from beginning

Play from beginning

{{ currentTime | date:'mm:ss':'+0000' }} / {{ totalTime | date:'mm:ss':'+0000' }} {{cue.title}}
Add to WatchlistRemove from Watchlist
Add to watchlist
Remove from watchlist

Video unavailable

Trevor Paglen in "Secrets"

Trevor Paglen makes the invisible visible, documenting evidence of the American surveillance state of the 21st century. Concerned with the politics of perception, Paglen investigates the development of machines that see and the historical relationship between photography and military technology.

More information

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

Translate this video

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


Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Kicking off our year-long 21st anniversary celebration: a special series of new films, premiering every other Wednesday through March 21.

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.

“This question of how to represent that which must not be represented is one of the oldest questions in art.”

Trevor Paglen

Add to watchlist
Add to watchlist
Add to watchlist