Kenyon College

Trevor Paglen (American b. 1974)


Interweaving the fields of art, science, politics and investigative journalism, Trevor Paglen employs photographic and film media to investigate global military and intelligence operations. His experimental use of advanced imaging appropriates and exposes the instruments used by the state to uphold mechanisms of secrecy, surveillance, and control. Born in 1974 in Camp Springs, Maryland, Paglen holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Geography from U.C. Berkeley. He has written five books and several articles on experimental geography, state secrecy, military symbology, photography, and visuality, and recently contributed research and cinematography for Laura Poitras’s Academy Award-winning film Citizenfour about Edward Snowden. In 2014 Paglen received the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s pioneer Award for his work as a “groundbreaking investigative artist,” highlighting his contributions to counter-surveillance. Most recently Paglen was announced as one of 2017 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship awardees. He has shown his artwork internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions at such prominent institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Tate Modern, London; the Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.