"trevor paglen"

The National Security Sublime: On the Aesthetics of Government Secrecy

[Matt Potolsky's new book, The National Security Sublime, is a tour through the look-and-feel of mass surveillance, as practiced by the most unlikely of aesthetes: big data authoritarian snoops and the grifter military contractors who wax fat on them. This is a subject dear to my heart. -Cory]

The US National Security Agency is big, really big. But it’s unlikely that most people outside the government can (or would even try to) quantify its size or powers with any specificity. The agency is just massive, a quality that can produce in those who try to contemplate it the overwhelming sense of awe and wonder called the sublime. Triggered by an encounter with something grand (towering mountain peaks) or verging on the infinite (the number of stars in the universe), it describes a generally pleasurable feeling of cognitive breakdown, the sensation that you just can’t wrap your head around an object or idea so vast and boundless. Read the rest

New Ways of Seeing: James Bridle's BBC radio show about networked digital tools in our "image-soaked culture"

James "New Aesthetic" Bridle (previously) is several kinds of provocateur and artist (who can forget his autonomous vehicle trap, to say nothing of his groundbreaking research on the violent Youtube Kids spammers who came to dominate the platform with hour+ long cartoons depicting cartoon characters barfing and murdering all over each other?). Read the rest

"The End of Trust" - EFF/McSweeney's collaboration on privacy and surveillance - is in stores and free to download now!

The End of Trust (previously) is a special issue of McSweeney's, produced in collaboration with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, on the themes of technology, privacy and surveillance: it's in stores today, and free to download under a Creative Commons license. Read the rest

EFF and McSweeney's collaborated on a publication: "The End of Trust"

The End of Trust will be McSweeney's issue 54, the first-ever all-nonfiction issue of McSweeney's, with more than 30 contributions on "surveillance in the digital age." Read the rest

Help save artist Kal Spelletich's robots and the future of tech-art

For 25 years, my friend Kal Spelletich of Seemen and Survival Research Labs has lived and worked in a San Francisco warehouse studio where he's built myriad robots, fire machines, and sculptures, hosted music, art, and political action events, and provided support for more than 100 other artists, activists, and fringe characters. Guess what. Kal's been evicted. This is yet another gut punch for the Bay Area's creative community that inspired so many technologists but is now being eviscerated by today's big money tech bubble. Kal has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help him push through: Save Kal's Robots

Rented way back in 1995, my space is was one of the last remaining raw warehouse art spaces and I made it into a home for experimental, non commercial art. I hosted jaw-dropping, fire spewing, ear shattering robot performances, music, noise and art events with the likes of Chris Johanson, Johanna Jackson, Marie Lornez and her epic boat, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Matt Heckert.

I did all this without grants or outside support.

No trust funds, patrons or high paying side jobs here. I passed along the cheap rent.

I provided housing and studios for countless artists, freaks, traveling activists and radical journalists like Trevor Paglen, AC Thompson, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, worked on Survival Research Laboratories shows, and countless others.

My life and warehouse were the inspiration for Rudy Rucker’s sci-fi novel Realware. Another book that wouldn't have happened without my warehouse is Streetopia.

I ran my studio as an experimental art/live space that housed and supported over 100 other artists and activists.

Read the rest

West coast premiere for nerd culture documentary Traceroute

Johannes Grenzfurthner writes, "My cinematic tour de farce through nerd culture comes to the West Coast. Upcoming Bay Area and L.A. premieres!" Read the rest

Artist installs sculptures that are also Tor nodes in the world's galleries

Trevor Paglen and Jacob Appelbaum collaborate to create beautiful, acrylic-encased computers that are also Tor nodes, anonymizing data that passes through them, and install the in art galleries all over the world, so that patrons can communicate and browse anonymously, while learning about anonymity and Tor. Read the rest

Journalists around the world voice support for Netzpolitik after outrageous 'treason' investigation

Reporters and press freedom advocates from around the world have signed on to support Netzpolitik and condemn the German government's outrageous investigation.

The Thing The Book: a monument to the book as object

Wink is a site that’s dedicated to the unique and glorious qualities of the print book. Similarly, The Thing The Book celebrates all aspects of this amazing medium that revolutionized the world. Created by John Herschend and Will Rogan, the Bay Area artists behind one of my favorite subscription-based art projects, The Thing Quarterly, The Thing The Book gathers together over 30 well-known writers, artists, photographers, and thinkers, and asks them to riff on some traditional element of the book: cover, bookplate, table of contents, footnotes, endnotes, index, endpapers, etc.

The result is a collaborative art piece in book form, brilliant at times, mysterious and intriguing at others, and sometimes just plain odd and inexplicable. See celebrated author Jonathan Lethem’s single footnote, performance artist Miranda July’s tipped-in purple erratum, artist Dave Muller’s adorable flip book dancers (featuring Thom Yorke from the “Lotus Flower” video), filmmaker Mike Dion’s gallery of vintage book covers, and conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner’s ponderous thumb tab.

Essayists include art and music writer Andrew Hultkrans (on the dying book), artist and geographer Trevor Paglen (on the lonely painting of Lascaux), and artist Lucy Pullen (on story telling). Lest one forget that this book really is a celebration of the book as an object, a thing, the promotional video for it shows it being used to prop open windows, as a food serving tray, as a sleep mask, etc.

See sample pages from this book at Wink. Read the rest

The civilized response to Charlie Hebdo attacks: more surveillance

"As politicians drape themselves in the flag of free speech and freedom of the press in response to the tragic murder of Charlie Hebdo cartoonists," writes Freedom of the Press Foundation's Trevor Timm at the Guardian, "they’ve also quickly moved to stifle the same rights they claim to love. Read the rest

Human Rights Watch report: Surveillance is harming democracy

Government surveillance and secrecy "are undermining press freedom, the public’s right to information, and the right to counsel, all human rights essential to a healthy democracy," reports HRW and the ACLU.

Finally, new photos of America's spy centers, shot by Trevor Paglen for The Intercept

Photographer Trevor Paglen produced a series of images of US spy headquarters so bloggers like us can finally have some new images to top our posts about NSA leaks. The photos appear in newly-launched digital mag The Intercept, the first of a number of digital publications which will be launched by the Omidyar/Greenwald/etc venture First Look Media -- and they attempt to answer the question, "What does a surveillance state look like?" Read the rest

Saturday in SF: Dissident Futures Festival (with Pesco)

San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is presenting a fascinating art exhibition titled Dissident Futures, showcasing artists exploring the unknown of tomorrow. The contributors include quite a few provocative artists we've previously featured on Boing Boing including Trevor Paglen, Paul Laffoley, Lynn Hershman Leeson, and many others. The exhibition runs until February 2, 2014 but this Saturday there's a special "Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival" from noon to 9pm at YBCA. It's free with RSVP! The day includes music, performances, a mini Maker Faire, and artists booth by Fantastic Futures, Takehrito Etani, Young Gifted and Black, and my colleagues at Institute for the Future (IFTF)! There are also a number of presentations and panels including a session that I'll be moderating with IFTF exec director Marina Gorbis and our Institute for the Future Fellows. And of course you can check out the full exhibit! I hope to see you there! More details and RSVP info here: "Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival" Read the rest

Boing Boing Ingenuity: Vaudeville for Happy Mutants!

Boing Boing: Ingenuity's second day will be a mind-bending theatrical experience of presentations, performances, oddities, and wonder taking place at a opulent former Masonic Lodge. We are thrilled to announce our line-up for this experience we've come to think of as vaudeville for Happy Mutants.

Turnkey Tyranny: Surveillance and the Terror State

"By exposing NSA programs like PRISM and Boundless Informant, Edward Snowden has revealed that we are not moving toward a surveillance state: we live in the heart of one," photographer and artist Trevor Paglen writes in Creative Time Reports. He took the incredible photo of the NSA facility in this article, and has also filmed the black sites in Afghanistan and tracked rendition planes. (thanks, Laura Poitras!) Read the rest

Sea Shadow photographs

My earlier post about Trevor Paglen mentioned that one of his tours is the San Diego home of the Sea Shadow. BB reader John Worthington responded with a link to several interesting photographs of the Sea Shadow taken after it was declassified a decade ago. From the Federation of American Scientists site:

Sea Shadow is a test craft developed under a combined program by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the Navy, and Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space Company. The Sea Shadow program was begun in the mid-1980s. Its purpose is to explore a variety of new technologies for surface ships, including ship control, structures, automation for reduced manning, seakeeping and signature control. In 1993-1994, the craft was revealed to the public and underwent daylight testing. Since 1994, Sea Shadow has been maintained in a lay-up status and is currently homeported at Naval Station San Diego. In anticipation of conducting future ship research and development testing, the U.S. Navy reactivated the Sea Shadow craft in early 1999. Sea Shadow will support risk reduction for future surface ship platforms such as DD 21, the Navy's 21st Century Land Attack Destroyer. The platform will allow the Navy to explore and test, in a realistic at-sea environment, important DD 21 advanced information and automation technologies that support reduced manning and ship survivability.

Link

UPDATE: BB pal Jim Graham was the public relations person at Lockheed when the Sea Shadow came out of the black. Jim writes:

"A couple of interesting things about the Sea Shadow was how low-tech it was on the inside.

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Trevor Paglen, intrepid geographer of weird spaces

Artist/geographer Trevor Paglen of UC Berkeley physically and conceptually "maps" hotspots of clandestine military activity in the western United States. The San Francisco Bay Guardian's AC Thompson joined Paglen for a jaunt to Area 51:

I met Paglen about 10 years ago when we were both hanging out at East Bay punk gigs. He's still got a punkish edge, favoring dark jeans and cowboy boots and punctuating many of his comments with slang and obscenities. All this camouflages, to some degree, his eclectic braininess: Before pursuing geography, Paglen earned degrees in religious studies (with a minor in musical composition) and art. As you read this, the Lab, a San Francisco gallery, is displaying Paglen's solo show "Recording Carceral Landscapes," a chilling commentary on California's leviathan prison system.

In addition to his academic explorations, Paglen also gives informal tours of classified America, journeying to places like the Tejon Ranch Radar Cross Section range (where Northrop tests bleeding-edge aircraft), the headquarters of Science Applications International Corp. (the no-profile defense contractor tapped to set up a TV propaganda network in Iraq), the San Diego docks that are home to the Sea Shadow (a classified Naval watercraft), and the Classic Bullseye listening station (a heavily guarded collection of National Security Agency eavesdropping equipment, image left).

Link Read the rest

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