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Trevor Paglen (b. 1974) is known for investigating the hidden aspects of the visible world, with a wide-ranging approach that spans image making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines. Considering the ways that surveillance technologies have overtaken the predominance of human sight, he has developed various artistic means of visualizing the enormous but often imperceptible infrastructure built to monitor social behavior on a mass scale. In the works on view, Paglen has created two abstract images—one gridded and the other striated—from the aggregation of countless photographs that have been used to teach computers how to distinguish between individual behaviors. While Classifications of Gait (2020) presents images that communicate to artificial intelligence how to identify people by their walking gaits as a security measure in line with facial recognition software, Distracted Drivers (2020) employs screen grabs of individuals’ preoccupied behavior while driving that could be used to adjust car insurance premiums for maximum economic benefit.
Photo: Christine Ann Jones, courtesy Pace Gallery