Trevor Paglen, my pick for 2008 artist of the year, has reached a noteworthy point: he's an artist quoted by major media as an expert on one of the subjects of his art -- although his art isn't mentioned. Paglen, who co-authored a book on the CIA's extraordinary rendition program called Torture Taxi, is quoted by a San Francisco ABC station on Obama's order to close Guantanamo and the CIA's "black site" prisons. I'm sure Paglen, an experimental geographer at Berkeley, had something more interesting to say than the quote ABC used -- "Hopefully this is a step towards restoring a kind of rule of law around how the war on terror is going to be prosecuted" -- but what's most striking to me is that he was quoted at all.
Above: Paglen's photo of "The Salt Pit," a CIA prison in northeast of Kabul, Afghanistan.
Coming soon: On Feb. 5, Paglen's newest book comes out. Pre-order Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World.
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