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Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns (Hardcover)

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ISBN 10: 1934435864 / ISBN 13: 9781934435861
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Hardcover. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 136 pages. 0.998. Bookseller Inventory # 9781934435861

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Title: Covert Operations: Investigating the Known ...

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

About this title


Following the tragedies of September 11, 2001, contemporary artists such as Ahmed Basiony, Thomas Demand, Harun Farocki, Jenny Holzer, Trevor Paglen and Taryn Simon urgently pursued the complicated intersection of freedom, security, secrecy, power and violence. Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns features 13 international artists who have collected and revealed unreported information on subjects ranging from classified military sites and reconnaissance satellites to border and immigration surveillance, terrorist profiling, narcotics and human trafficking, illegal extradition flights and nuclear weapons. Among the other contributing artists are Anne-Marie Schleiner, Luis Hernandez Galvan, David Taylor and Kerry Tribe.


Cased inside a nifty-looking brown envelope with a string clasp that recalls older, analog forms of espionage, the book focuses on artistic practices in the wake of 9/11 that thematize questions of transparency, deception, privacy, and control. Bringing together works by Harun Farocki, Jenny holzer, Trevor Paglen, Taryn Simon, and others, Covert Operations makes the claim that art―as a process of exposing concealed truths―can provide alternative narratives and shed light on our current condition. Much of this art uses digital technology, but a surprising number of works traffic in the material world, too, from Thomas demand’s series of photographs of the paper-and-cardboard model he made an office in the Niger Embassy in Rome to Paglen’s collection of personnel patches from secret US-military operations. (Claire C Carter Bookforum)

Jenny Holzer's paintings and neon work employing texts from de-classified government documents are a highlight. From David Taylor's matter of fact photographs of border patrol activity at the United States/Mexico boundary to Taryn Simon's subversion of the virtual simulations of terrorism used by the United States Army to train soldiers, these are must-see works for artists, historians, and theorists interested in the art and artifice of espionage, covert military action, and the lasting effects upon our world wrought by the disastrous and largely secret "war on terror." (Jon Carver THE Magazine)

Covert Operations, an upcoming book by multiple artists working in a variety of mediums, features works of art that draw inspiration from America’s growing national security apparatus. Focusing on issues ranging from border patrol technology to drones to top-secret military programs, the photos and multimedia projects are an attempt to examine the increasingly powerful national security infrastructure that flourished in the aftermath of 9/11. If the central question in Covert Operations is about how to balance security with personal liberties, at least part of the artists’ answer has to do with the disclosure of such activities. “These artists have each undertaken a weighty responsibility: To make the invisible visible for the rest of us,” writes Claire Carter, curator at Scottsdale’s Museum of Contemporary Art, where the exhibit will be shown this month, in the book’s prologue. “Bearing witness visually can be more successful than a thousand words.” This is the surveillance state like you’ve never seen it before. (Fossett Katelyn Politico magazine)

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