trevor paglen

trevor paglan bw

intro’d to Trevor here:

jan 31, 2014 panel:

transmediale 2014 keynote: Art as Evidence

Published on Jan 31, 2014

Art as Evidence. A panel with Trevor Paglen, Jacob Appelbaum and Laura Poitras. Moderated by Tatiana Bazzichelli. 
Friday January 30, 2014, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin. 

Documentary film director Laura Poitras, independent security analyst Jacob Appelbaum and artist and geographer Trevor Paglen reflect on upcoming frontiers of action and awareness for hackers, activists and artists in the present context of geopolitical surveillance and control. This conversation aims to trace a possible path towards investigating the deconstruction of power structures through experiencing them from within, critically reflecting on the role of art and activism today in the context of the post-9/11 politics and society. Crossing various practices and disciplines, from film documentary, computer security, hacking, experimental geography, photography, this talk reveals the role of art as evidence, as a practice of making people regain and reclaim their autonomy, have agency and live consciously in a networked world. Reconnecting with the courageous practice of whistleblowing and ethical resistance, Appelbaum, Paglen and Poitras highlight contradictions between public visibility and individual privacy, information disclosure and data protection in the digital and physical info-sphere.

push past the point where our eyes work..

covert operations are all around us

Trevor was there to share this..


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Janet Gunter (@JanetGunter) tweeted at 3:35 AM – 13 Oct 2017 :

Reading about #MacFellows and wishing it existed on a global level. Imagine what some thinkers and innovators could do with that support (

Janet Gunter (@JanetGunter) tweeted at 3:36 AM – 13 Oct 2017 :

The only one of the #MacFellows I already was familiar with is in fact working on global issues: militarism – @trevorpaglen (


Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) tweeted at 6:02 AM – 24 Jan 2018 :

Excited to interview the brilliant artist Trevor Paglen—who’s spent years surveilling the surveillance state—here at #davos in 30 minutes (2:30pm CET). Livestream: (

google now knows more about me/my-history than i know about myself..

there’s no such thing as tech detached from how you use it

11 min – i want ai that aren’t mass surveillance (so museum).. space flight that’s decoupled from nuclear war (so satellite w mirror)

12 min – i want to live in a world that has more justice/beauty.. that’s why i build these things

13 min – i almost want to find out what something else wants to look like.. i wait for it in a kind of aesthetic language to emerge.. i don’t worry about that contradiction between beauty and banality.. i’m sure we’d like to live in a world where beautiful things are good and ugly things are bad.. i’m trying to inhabit those contradictions..

15 min – we have techs.. they amplify forms of power.. what places do we want to amplify ie: energy efficiency..  do we want to ie: extracting money..

16 min – what world do i want to live in.. i want an internet that is like on one hand.. a library..  1\ can look up anything you want.. 2\ police/google don’t get a record of every book you check out..   what are places in society we don’t want to optimize

18 min – the most obvious use of data collection is selling stuff.. so.. to extract as much money as possible.. creating a society where ineq’s much more acute.. and society much more conformist..  i worry that by not exempting parts of everyday life.. not going to be a world that’s particularly free

trevor lives in berlin by stasi office

19 min – tech that worries me most.. probably ai combined w capitalism..

20 min – chinese social credit score system.. most crystalized ie of what surveill is doing.. credit for goodness.. a very obvious way where you can see society w strong centralized state

23 min – my job isn’t to explain to you so much as to create a series of images you can communicate with.. we need language.. but we also explore/explain world thru images

25 min – smartphones.. twitter.. fb.. these are systems you can opt out of.. in personal i use encrypt tools.. i just don’t want things to be in my metadata

28 min – point of satellite..  just aesthetic.. just to see it.. ie: no military motives .. one that contradicts logic of every other


Katy Barrett (@SpoonsOnTrays) tweeted at 4:54 AM – 17 May 2018 :
Great final Q from @benvickers_ on how and if art can stand as evidence in these debates. Is instrumentalising art in this way dangerous route to follow? #TrevorPaglen #PhotoLondonFair18 (