Tracking Torture

Trevor Paglen's work doesn't just use technology to explore the world, it works to explore the very machinery of corruption and violence. In the past, he has used telescopes, cameras, hidden recording devices, the internet, print publications, and other media to expose the truths glossed-over by the secretive US military. For the last few years, he's documented secret military bases, throughout the country, and theorized about the neocolonial effect of these 'black sites' on the landscape. More recently. he co-authored a book on the CIA's 'torture taxis,' airplanes chartered to circumvent human rights laws by carrying out tortuous interrogations of bogusly-imprisoned subjects, in air. His collaboration with the Institute for Applied Autonomy collective has led to artistic visualization of otherwise dire data sets. This and other information, including a rare collection of cryptic, boastful clothing patches collected and worn by those enlisted to work on secret military bases, will be on view at an upcoming exhibition at New York's Bellwether gallery, November 16-December 23. - Marisa Olson