2019 - 2021
Washington, D.C., United States; Notre Dame, Indiana, United States
Viewing Distance compiles declassified material from US government archives to examine photography as an instrument of the military-industrial complex for reconnaissance, surveillance, and documentation of advanced technologies. While many of the archival source images for this body of work date back to the middle 20th century, they have only recently been declassified and much information remains secret. These pictures represent the decades-long time delay from when knowledge comes into being and when it becomes publicly accessible. The Cold War period that much of the material originates from is a significant turning point in photography’s technological development and use for intelligence gathering. Photographs pertaining to the clandestine innovations and operations of that era are combined with contemporary documents and devices, connecting past and present. Through layering and digital disruption of archival images, historical fragments are presented in a state of flux, open to alternate associations and implications. What we are allowed to know and see is often incomplete and indeterminate, encouraging speculation and critical vision.