Limit-Telephotography

Trevor Paglen describes Limit-Telephotography on his website as trying to uncover what is commonly described with the cliché “out of sight, out of mind”. His site provides material on areas which are that exceptionally hidden or cordoned-off that they are simply impossible to see with the unaided eye.

His entire project attempts to provide a visualization of a secret world which prefers to stay in the shadow and as he describes is in its own terminology called ‘black’: (link)

In defense-industry and aviation circles, people refer to the existence of two “worlds,” one of which they call the “white” world, and another called the “black” world.° The distinction between these two terms is that the “white” world involves unclassified research, development and spending. It is out the open. The “black” world, on the other hand, signifies all the work that is being done in secret.

It’s a world with its own massive landscapes, its own corporations and privately-held firms, its own workers sworn to lifelong secrecy, its own engineers, pilots, accountants, mail deliverers, garbage collectors, and truck drivers. It is a landscape produced through secrecy, compartmentalization, and is largely immune from public oversight.

This project explores militarism and state secrecy through the fragmented images, sounds, histories, and documents that these restricted landscapes exude.

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