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The geography of the hidden world

PHOTOGRAPHY: Over the past decades, American artist and geographer Trevor Paglen has focused the camera lens on the secret part of the defense industry – this huge apparatus that sees everything, but which itself tries to avoid being seen.

Paglen has exhibited the results in art galleries. He has mapped spy satellites, clandestine prisons in Afghanistan and the CIA's unregistered prisoner flights. His work can just as well be characterized as investigative journalism as art. This could perhaps be called a paradox, and object that these two areas are mutually exclusive. If aesthetic issues are not banned in investigative journalism – it also has a tradition with a distinctive design language – they should at least be subordinate to ethics. This is especially true when the subject is as urgent as the systematic surveillance by the authorities, as revealed by Edward Snowden's leaks.
Trevor Paglen is dedicated to a larger retrospective presentation at the art museum Frankfurter Kunstverein in. . .

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