Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen

Creative Time Flags

March 14, 2018 – April 1, 2018

Atlanta Contemporary Art Center presents Weeping Angel by Trevor Paglen, part of Creative Time’s Pledges of Allegiance.

Trevor Paglen’s practice spans image-making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, among other disciplines. Paglen, known for his unflinching critique of the surveillance state, creates a flag that further enhances our visual vocabulary on this pressing issue. The image of the weeping angel surrounded by code is a multivalent one: “Weeping Angel” is the name for a hacking tool that the CIA reportedly developed to spy on citizens through internet-connected TVs. Alternately, Paglen’s Weeping Angel may reference the similarly named sci-fi villains from the Dr. Who series, or rather allude to term from quantum physics describing entities that cease to exist if one attempts to observe them.

Participating artists in Pledges of Allegiance include Tania Bruguera, Alex Da Corte, Jeremy Deller, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Ann Hamilton, Robert Longo, Josephine Meckseper, Marilyn Minter, Vik Muniz, Jayson Musson, Ahmet Ögüt, Yoko Ono, Trevor Paglen, Pedro Reyes, Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Nari Ward.

Pledges of Allegiance was originally conceived by Alix Browne and developed in collaboration with Cian Browne, Fabienne Stephan, and Opening Ceremony. 


Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen was born in 1974 in Camp Springs, Maryland, and lives and works in Berlin. A mid-career survey exhibition Sights Unseen will be on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., from June 21, 2018, to January 6, 2019. He has had additional one-person exhibitions at the Nevada Museum of Art, Reno; Secession, Vienna; Berkeley Art Museum; Kunsthall Oslo; and Kunsthalle Giessen, Germany. His work has been included in group exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, United Kingdom; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Haus der Kunst, Munich; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. He participated in the 2009 Istanbul Biennial; 2012 Liverpool Biennial; 2013 ICP Triennial, New York; and the 11th Gwangju Biennale. He has received numerous awards, including a 2017 MacArthur Fellowship, the 2014 Electronic Frontier Foundation Pioneer Award for his contributions to counter-surveillance and the 2016 Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize. His authored publications include The Last Pictures (New York: Creative Time Books; Berkeley: University of California Press, 2012), a critical compendium of his Creative Time project to launch an ultra-archival disc, micro-etched with one hundred photographs, into orbit around the Earth for billions of years; Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon’s Secret World (New York: Penguin Publishers, 2009); and I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagons Black World (Brooklyn: Melville House Publishing, 2007).

Pledges of Allegiance

Atlanta Contemporary is a participating institution in Pledges of Allegiance, a nationwide, year-long public art project featuring a serialized commission of flags created by acclaimed artists and presented by New York-based public art nonprofit Creative Time. Conceived in response to the current political climate, Pledges of Allegiance aims to inspire a sense of community among cultural institutions, and begin articulating the urgent response our political moment demands.

Creative Time

Creative Time, the New York based public arts non-profit, is committed to working with artists on the dialogues, debates, and dreams of our time. Creative Time presents the most innovative art in the public realm, providing new platforms to amplify the voices of artists, including the Creative Time Summit — an international conference convening at the intersection of art and social justice.Since 1974, Creative Time has produced over 350 groundbreaking public art projects that ignite the imagination, explore ideas that shape society, and engage millions of people around the globe. The non-profit that since its inception has been at the forefront of socially engaged public art seeks to convert the power of artists’ ideas into works that inspire and challenge the public. Creative Time projects stimulate dialogue on timely issues, and initiate a dynamic experience between artists, sites, and audiences. To promote the project via social media use #PledgesofAllegiance and tag @CreativeTimeNYC (Instagram) & @CreativeTime (Twitter)

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