“Art can ask us to question our own common sense, and in doing so allow us to imagine what different worlds might be like,” says artist and MacArthur Genius Trevor Paglen
. Blurring the boundaries between art, science, and journalism, Paglen’s work exposes often unsettling realities of our world today, particularly in relation to the surveillance state and the use of data.
His projects cast aside traditional artistic media. Previously, he has taken viewers on a diving expedition to witness the international internet cables that the NSA taps. In 2018, he’ll bring his practice into space, launching the first satellite to function purely as an art object. But, for as much as Paglen focuses on cutting-edge tech and the proliferation of visual culture, the future of art he imagines remains firmly rooted in art forms of the past.