Quiet Earth’s Trevor Paglen at Frieze London

For those of you lucky enough to be in London for Frieze this weekend, make sure to stop by Altman Siegel‘s booth to see artist Trevor Paglen’s new work: Prototype for a Nonfunctional Satellite. Paglen, whose work is currently part of Ballroom’s Quiet Earth exhibition in New York, is one of the most cerebral contemporary artists, examining topics as varied as geography, the United States military, and space travel.

The kinetic sculpture and model, Prototype, represents a significant departure for Paglen (least of all because he is primarily known as a photographer). As noted by the gallery, while Paglen usually documents “the clandestine world of covert military operations,” here “he is using the engineering funded by this vast military industrial complex to create public sculpture. Thus, drawing our attention to the non-military potential of technology.”
Paglen transforms what would usually be viewed as a scientific object, into a work of art; consciously putting “aerospace engineering into conversation with the legacy of minimalist sculpture, earthworks, and formalism in general.” And like most works of art, it really should be experienced in person (but a .gif is good too).

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