Lead Image of the NSA headquarters (Fort Meade, Maryland)
This past December, The Creators Project made a documentary on photographer, Trevor Paglen. The artist and counter-surveillance researcher is known for photographing "invisible" places; places that average people aren't supposed to see, including secret government agencies and their home bases. Paglen has now one-upped himself by publishing new photographs of the NSA headquarters, as well as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
The NRO is now known for creating and controlling spy satellites (which Paglen has also shot in the past), and the NGA uses big data to map and analyze geographic information of American citizens.
These are the three largest agencies in the United States' intelligence community, and as we all know--they were hidden from the public until the Snowden leaks this past August. Three months later, Paglen rented a helicopter and took shots of these hidden and ultra-secret spaces. While the NSA has released one photo of its base in the past, the photos by Paglen are brand new.
In his article on the project, Paglen writes, "My intention is to expand the visual vocabulary we use to 'see' the U.S. intelligence community. Although the organizing logic of our nation's surveillance apparatus is invisibility and secrecy, it's operations occupy the physical world." The buildings are physical ghosts, in a sense, but seeing them expands our knowledge of places that are meant to be hidden. "If we look in the right places at the right times, we can begin to glimpse America's vast intelligence infrastructure."
For more on the counter-surveillance photographer, see our doc on Paglen: