MacArthur fellow, artist, journalist, author, and photographer Trevor Paglen discusses surveillance, covert operations, classified landscapes, and other themes that radiate through both his work and the ICP Museum’s exhibitions Edmund Clark: The Day the Music Died and Then They Came for Me: Incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

In this artist talk, Paglen presents a series of projects exploring planet-scale sensing systems. From fiber optic cables under the earth’s oceans and reconnaissance satellites in earth orbit, to the autonomous vision systems and artificial intelligence networks that have come to inhabit the most intimate parts of our lives, his projects offer a glimpse into some of the unseen landscapes that characterize our historical moment.

This is a free event, but please register in advance. ICP Members have access to the best seats at our public programs in our reserved members’ section.

Our ICP Museum–public program combination ticket grants $10 entry starting at 4:30 PM to those attending the program. Tickets are only available online when you register for the program.


Trevor Paglen is an artist whose work spans imagemaking, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines. Among his chief concerns are learning how to see the historical moment we live in and developing the means to imagine alternative futures.

Paglen’s work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; the Whitney Museum of American Art; Berkeley Art Museum; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Nevada Museum of Art. He has launched an artwork into distant orbit around Earth in collaboration with Creative Time and MIT, contributed research and cinematography to the Academy Award–winning film Citizenfour, and created a radioactive public sculpture for the exclusion zone in Fukushima, Japan.

He is the author of five books and numerous articles on subjects including experimental geography, state secrecy, military symbology, photography, and visuality. Paglen’s work has been profiled in the New York Times, the New Yorker, The Economist, and Art Forum.

He is a 2017 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Award.

Paglen holds a BA from UC Berkeley, an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, and a PhD in Geography from UC Berkeley.

TOP IMAGE: Trevor Paglen, A Man (Corpus: The Humans) Adversarially Evolved Hallucination, 2017.