This final project was done to bring the class full circle. In the beginning of this class I posted how Andy Warhol’s colored portraits were cliche and overdone. For my final I used this style to make a mockery of it yet again. I used outdated hairstyles and I incorporated a pattern print that reminded me of an old style tablecloth along with images that reminded me of doilies. I also incorporated the word ‘stale’ to further drive my point.
Trevor Paglen November 18, 2009
Trevor Paglen is described as an artist, writer, and experimental geographer working out of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. He spends most of his free time searching out what he calls, “blank spots on the map”. He is best known for discovering covert military operations or operative locations. Through his studies and artwork he has opened the door of secrecy to this hidden world.
One of his most famous works is a book titled, “I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me: Emblems From The Pentagon’s Black World”. This book is about the patches he has discovered that have been used by the Pentagon during various “black” military projects. Most of these patches were acquired through FOIA (Freedome Of Information Act) requests. Others have been sent to him from all over the country. Mostly sent anonymously where he is left to his own devices to figure out the meanings behind the symbols.
Another one of his projects has to do with taking prolonged photographs of the night sky. The piece is called The Other Night Sky. This project is the practice of filming the night sky drawing our attention to the 189 U.S. military secret-intelligence satellites, which are there to keep most of the world under constant surveillance. These photos capture military reconnaissance satellites soaring around in space, or as he calls them secret “moons”. The Vortex 3 is an interesting one. According to Paglen’s website he states, “Although the spacecraft is no longer active, VORTEX 3 will remain in orbit 36,000 kilometers above the Earth for more than a million years, potentially one human civilization’s longest-lasting artifacts.”
Another aspect of his work is centered on uncovering more hidden aspects of the various government agencies and agendas; CIA, unmarked territories on maps, and unmarked aircrafts. Among his findings he points out one of the CIA’s covert programs called Missing Persons. According to Paglen, the CIA has been kidnapping suspected terrorists since the mid 1990’s and holding them in a secret prison called “black sites”. This is known to the CIA as the “extraordinary rendition” program. Once detained they have no connection with the outside world, and there is no public record of their disappearance called, “ghost detainees”. To capture and transport these detainees they use a pack of unmarked planes. The planes are owned by no one yet there are multiple false signatures on all of the aircraft and corporate documents. He created an installation in 2006 of these signatures, this is Missing Persons. He also has photos of two of these sites. One is in Kabul, Afghanistan and the other is just northeast of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Another one of his well-known projects involves limit-telephotography. He can photograph landscapes that cannot be seen by the eye without this type of equipment. This type of technology is typically used to photograph objects that could be up to trillions of miles from Earth.
His fascination with the secrecy of the government operations has opened many people’s eyes to the truth. He has created many projects and written a few books on the matter. His subject matter is interesting and unique. I am happy that I chose this artist to research.
“Pentagon Mission Badges-Trevor Paglen”. Esquire. 2007. 15 Nov 2009. http://www.esquire.com/fiction/books/badges1207
“Trevor Paglen”. 15 Nov 2009. http://www.paglen.com/pages/writing.html
“Trevor Paglen”. Colbert Nation. 2008. 15 Nov 2009. http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/165020/april-07-2008/trevor-paglen
“Trevor Paglen: Tracking the CIA’s Torture Planes”. NEWSGrist. 2006. 15 Nov 2009. http://newsgrist.typepad.com/underbelly/2006/02/trevor_paglen_t.html
The Gestalt of Bling October 21, 2009
This assignment was to create eight 8 1/2 x 11 posters that represent modern day “bling” reflecting the Gestalt art style. Bling being gold, diamonds, ballers, big pimpin, spending cheese, etc. The last one is a group shot of the installation on the wall.
Poster Assignment September 30, 2009
The theme for this poster is Subversion. In our group we decided to take fictional characters and pair them up with words that are meant to make us feel shameful. They are words that are very real, and in some cases hurtful, opposite of their fictional character. In my poster I created an image of Wonder Woman, a superhero with definite power. I paired her with the word Manipulate. No one likes to be manipulated just as no one really likes to be accused of being a manipulator. This poster can be interpreted to have different meanings on just how the manipulation is in effect. We designed these in a 20×20 square rather than a 17×11 rectangle because we are using continuity throughout taking the form of a comic strip. When we present these they will all be lined up next to each other to form this strip with a red background.
Cliches and Metaphors September 8, 2009
A cliche is a phrase, expression, or idea that has been overused to the point of losing its intended force or novelty.
A metaphor is the process of describing one thing as if it were another.
Questions: What makes an image cliché? An image can be described as a cliche when it depicts the feeling described above. When it has been overused and over copied in so many ways that it has lost its original meaning. This photo of Andy Warhol’s painting is an example. This style has been copied so many times it is hard to even relate it back to him anymore. Also, whenever I see people do this with their own self portraits I find it to be pretentious and cliche.
How does a metaphor function? It functions as a way to compare one thing to another. It is just another way of painting a picture.
Why is it important? It is good to have a way of showing things in a new light. This example shows how someone’s face is the Earth.