Photography is an act of concentrated seeing, and by extension an act of knowing. Its origins are intrinsically linked to the idea of the “document,” although our understanding of both the uses and abuses of photography has expanded over the years as its possibilities for recording image and event have been debated and manipulated. Trevor Paglen is interested in the idea of photography as a kind of truth-telling, but his pictures often stop short of documentation, with their blurry subjects and barely discernible detail. Paglen’s nearly constant subject is the “black world” of the United States government, and through research and visualization he attempts to outline the edges and folds of this hidden world of military and intelligence activities.
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