The artist has always dreamed big—his latest proposed project
involves launching a sculpture into orbit as a free-floating satellite. His research-intensive work has explored issues of surveillance and the physical infrastructure of the Internet, as well as topical privacy issues (Paglen was also a cinematographer for Citizenfour
2014 documentary on Edward Snowden).
For this latest solo exhibition, he continues to ride on the bleeding-edge of technology, presenting the visual remnants of experiments with artificial intelligence, facial recognition, and more. The results promise to be as fascinating as they are unnerving, especially for anyone anxious about the world’s impending robot takeover. “Machines have learned to see, and their forms of seeing are becoming dominant,” Paglen tells me. “As an artist I want to understand the formal operations of machine-seeing and the social and political factors that always play a strong role in defining what images mean. I want to know: How do machines see, and what sorts of power flow through their electronic eyes?” —SI