The Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery are now open, with timed-entry passes required for the main building. All public programs are online only, on-site public tours and events are currently suspended.
From tapped fiberoptic cables at the bottom of the sea to football field-sized antennas in deep space, the architecture of state surveillance is as ubiquitous as it is invisible. In this talk from 2015, artist Trevor Paglen shares more than a decade's worth of images, research, and stories about how to "see" the top-secret infrastructures that are so emblematic of our historical moment. This annual series is made possible by the generosity of Clarice Smith.
Celebrating the opening of the exhibition, Trevor Paglen: Sites Unseen, artist Trevor 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’s orbit, to the autonomous vision systems and artificial intelligence networks that have come to inhabit the most intimate parts of our lives, Paglen’s projects offer a glimpse into some of the unseen landscapes that characterize our historical moment.
Smithsonian American Art Museum (8th and G Streets, NW)
“A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum” celebrates the numerous ways in which photography, from early daguerreotypes to contemporary digital works, has captured the American experience.