Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen

June 21, 2018 – January 6, 2019

Trevor Paglen, STSS-1 and Two Unidentified Spacecraft over Carson City (Space Tracking and Surveillance System, USA 205), 2010, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 2010, Trevor Paglen, Gift of Mike Wilkins and Sheila Duignan, 2012.24.1

Smithsonian American Art Museum
8th and G Streets, NW
Washington, DC

3rd Floor, North

See on Map Floor Plan

Artist Trevor Paglen’s work explores surveillance, state secrecy, data collection, and the ways in which technology is altering humans’ relationship with the land around us. His subtly unnerving photographs are rooted in classical landscape tradition, but reveal manmade objects such as a drone, a communications satellite, or a covert operations station. These images make visible the invisible, revealing a world where technology returns our gaze and the natural world is altered to hide the infrastructure of surveillance.

Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen is the first major career survey for the artist in the United States and includes 93 works of photography, video, sculpture, and found objects. Several of the Paglen’s best-known photography series will be presented in their entirety. A new installation of video and images made using facial recognition algorithms, entitled “How to See Like a Machine,” will be on public view for the first time.

The exhibition is curated by John Jacob, McEvoy Family Curator for Photography, and is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue.