Declassified, is a visual poem for the mysterious celestial phenomena yet to be solved. I raise questions about data stability and reliability of representation through works that are inspired by various government archives that have recently become accessible on the web.
The primary archive I work with is Project Blue Book — a United States Government archive of 1950s and 1960s UFO sightings, containing a vast quantity of documents and images found online — which I incorporate in my own medium format photographs, sculptural objects, and projections, in the form of an installation.
I choose to work with photos of supposed UFO’s and obscure objects and rocks, as well as official sketches found in questionnaires from the archive. Some of the techniques that I use include mixed media, outlining three-dimensional forms in physical space with EL wires (Electroluminescent), collages of found images and stereogram imaging (“Magic Eye” pictures) that allow some people to see 3D images by focusing on 2D patterns.
In light of the recent declassification of various government archives and recent developments in both local and global politics, there a greater awareness to the fact that the government has been hiding information methodically and diverting the public’s attention, resulting in a perception management — the telling of dramatic stories that distract the public from having to deal with complexities of the real world. UFOs might be the secret, but more radically, they might be the diversion. Those ideas are inspired by a recent documentary titled “Hypernormalisation” by the director Adam Curtis.
In this recently coined “post-truth” era, it is more evident that the truth is only secondary in significance to our ability to mold it to our vantage, and so I dare ask: What is the fragmented narrative and is it possible to plot its course?
When the public only has one source of technology to rely on, one feeder of information, there will always be room for doubt in the reliability of representation. NASA for example, as a power structure, has been dictating a certain amount of truth in the world, yet what lies behind the “unclassified” images, the disregarded, the unstableness of represented places and specimens is what I am interested in.