Jonah Weiner shadows artist Trevor Paglen (MFA 2002) as he photographs the “black world” of classified defense activity.
Jonah Weiner shadows artist Trevor Paglen (MFA 2002) as he photographs the “black world” of classified defense activity.
November 3

The New Yorker Spotlights SAIC Alumnus in Eight-page Profile

The New Yorker’s Jonah Weiner profiles artist, photographer, and SAIC alumnus Trevor Paglen (MFA 2002) in “Prying Eyes,” a sprawling eight-page feature published in the magazine’s October 22 edition.  Weiner shadows the artist on the outskirts of the Nevada Test and Training Range, a government site belonging to the “black world” of classified defense activity. Weiner notes that, while addressing themes of secrecy, Paglen attempts to create images of the sublime—“the fading of the sensible, or the sense you get when you realize you’re unable to make sense of something.”  The artist’s blurry images symbolize “the difficulty of uncovering truth in an era when so much government activity is covert.” Paglen’s work covered in the story represents a merging of his academic interests. In 2000 he moved to Chicago to pursue his Master of Fine Arts from SAIC’s Art and Technology Studies department.  Weiner highlights an installation of slingshots he created as a student, following the artistic credo “no metaphor, action.” Paglen then pursued a Ph.D. in Geography at Berkeley. His dissertation, “Blank Spots on the Map: the Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Hidden World” was published by Dutton in 2009 and inspired his first solo gallery show.