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Trevor Paglen (born in 1974) is an American artist, geographer, and author.

He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a PhD in geography from the University of California at Berkeley, where he currently works as a researcher.

Paglen is the author of three books including Torture Taxi, (co-authored with investigative journalist A.C. Thompson) which was the first book to comprehensively describe the CIA's extraordinary rendition program (Melville House Publishing, 2006, ISBN 1-933633-09-3), and I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me (Melville House Publishing, 2007, ISBN 1933633328), which is a look at the world of black projects through unit patches and memorabilia created for top-secret programs. [1]

Paglen's most recent book, Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World is a broader look at secrecy in the United States.[2]


Art career

Paglen has shown photography and other visual works at numerous museums and galleries including MassMoca, and Andy Warhol Museum of Modern Art as well as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Bellwether Gallery in New York.[3] He was an Eyebeam Commissioned Artist in 2007 and has a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.[4]

His visual work such as his "Limit Telephotography" and "The Other Night Sky" series has received widespread attention for both his technical innovations and for his conceptual project that involves simultaneously making and negating documentary-style truth-claims. [5]

Experimental Geography

Trevor Paglen is credited with coining the term "Experimental Geography" to describe practices coupling experimental cultural production and art-making with ideas from critical human geography about the production of space, materialism, and praxis. The 2009 book Experimental Geography: Radical Approaches to Landscape, Cartography, and Urbanism (Melville House Publishing, 2009, ISBN 9780091636586) edited by Nato Thompson is largely inspired by Paglen's work. [6]


  1. ^ Logos offer a guide to secret military programs, International Herald Tribune, April 2, 2008.
  2. ^ Paglen, Trevor "Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World" New York: Dutton, 2009
  3. ^ Trevor Paglen show at Bellwether Gallery in 2006
  4. ^ Trevor Paglen's website
  5. ^ Keenan, Tom. "Disappearances: The Photographs of Trevor Paglen" Aperture, No. 191. Summer 2008
  6. ^ Nato Thompson interview in The Nation

External links



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