Fieldworks: Art-Geography 2005
Symposium at the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, May 5-6, 2005
The 'field' is a shared and privileged space for both art and science. While geographical information gathered in the field is conventionally recorded and translated into graphic form, artists often engage landscape or the city for raw materials. New technologies and critical frameworks are currently transforming the nature and meaning of the field, the practices that take place there, and the ways both artists and geographers identify, secure and circulate field-founded knowledge. This symposium includes an evening of performance and a day of discussion to bring together practitioners from art, architecture, and geography to present original (field)works and address emerging relations between geographical science and artistic production.
"Geography and the politics of mobility"
Generali Foundation, Vienna, January - April, 2003
GEOGRAPHY AND THE POLITICS OF MOBILITY sets out from the transformative quality of geography in a time of increased mobility in which subjects are no longer tied to one specific location. These "transitory existences" constitute and transform the space that they cross or temporarily occupy due to migration or new working conditions. Human trajectories but also the traffic of signs, goods and visual information form particular cultural, social and virtual landscapes which inscribe themselves materially in the terrain.The resulting locations and non-locations re-articulate in their turn the relationship between social and territorial conditions.
In a directly geographical sense, the exhibition traces the logic of human economic circuitswithin a changed world order: the feminizedteleservice industry in India, illegal refugee boats crossing the Mediterranean, smuggling routes over the Spanish-Moroccan border. Different proposals of geographical practice are manifested both in the way the projects operate as a network, and in their esthetic strategy with regard to a "politics of space." By combining electronic and material landscapes, the art projects address systems both of representation and of navigation. The exhibition thus brings together connective and transgressive artistic practices: on the one hand it takes a critical look at an increasingly consolidating Europe and its borders, while on the other it presents emerging formations of artistic and activist geographies.
The exhibition includes five collective projects conceived by international artists, some of which will be presented here for the first time: Bureau d’études from France, Frontera Sur RRVT from Spain and Switzerland, Makrolab from Slovenia, multiplicity from Italy and Raqs Media Collective from India
Guest curator: Ursula Biemann
Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer working out of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is working on a dissertation/book about the spatial aspects of military secrecy. His work involves deliberately blurring the lines between social science, contemporary art, and a host of even more obscure disciplines in order to construct unfamiliar, yet meticulously researched ways to interpret the world around us.
His work has shown at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art (2003), U.C. San Diego (2004), the California College of the Arts (2002), and numerous other arts venues, universities, conferences, and public spaces. He is a contributing editor to the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest and develops tactical media projects with the prison-abolitionist group Critical Resistance. Paglen’s writing has been published in Blu Magazine, Art Journal, and will be included in the upcoming collection Spaces of Terror (Routledge, 2006).
Interview: "The Black World of the Military"
Article: "Hitching Stealth with Trevor Paglen"
Article: "Spying on the government: A UC Berkeley geographer maps the secret military bases of the American West – where billions of dollars disappear into creepy clandestine projects"
The Secret Bases
A series of projects that explore and document the "secret" military landscapes that are all around us: from clandestine installations in the remotest regions of the desert, to the massive military infrastructures that are hidden in plain sight.
This project involves limit-telephotography, expeditions, long-term military monitoring, amateur geospatial intelligence, and other strange techniques. The work itself is presented in written, installation, photographic, lecture, and participatory forms.