Weeping Angel, 2017 by Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen, known for his unflinching critique of the surveillance state, creates a flag that further enhances our “visual vocabulary” on this pressing issue. The image of the weeping angel surrounded by code is a multivalent one; Weeping Angel, is the name for a hacking tool that the CIA reportedly developed to spy on citizens, in which internet-connected TVs would be retooled to be in a fake “off” mode but covertly send recordings back. Alternately, the angels may also reference sci-fi villains from the Dr. Who series or a term from quantum physics describing entities that cease to exist if one attempts to observe them.


Paglen, ever-curious about all things security and secrecy, even slipped a cryptographic puzzle into Weeping Angel. Find the solution in this video:



Trevor Paglen’s Weeping Angel was on view March 14th – April 4th, 2018 at:
Creative Time Headquarters, 59 East 4th Street, NY, NY
21C Museum Hotel Durham, 111 Corcoran St, Durham, NC
Atlanta Contemporary, 535 Means Street, NW, Atlanta, GA
California College of the Arts, 1111 8th Street, San Fransisco, CA
The Commons, in partnership with the Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, 1340 Jayhawk Blvd, Lawrence, KS
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, 114 Central Ave, Ithaca, NY
John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, Brown University, 357 Benefit Street, Providence, RI
KMAC Museum, 715 W Main St, Louisville, KY
MASS MoCA, 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA
Mid-America Arts Alliance, 2018 Baltimore Ave, Kansas City, MO
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI
MOCA Jacksonville, 333 North Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL
RISD Museum, 224 Benefit Street, Providence, RI
SPACE, 536 Congress Street, Portland, ME
Texas State Galleries, 233 West Sessom Drive, San Marcos, TX
The Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 N 24th Street, Omaha, NE
University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum, 3821 USF Holly Drive, Tampa, FL
Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, 71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, NJ


About Trevor Paglen

Trevor Paglen is an artist whose work spans image-making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines. Among his chief concerns are learning how to see the historical moment we live in and developing the means to imagine alternative futures. He is currently the artist-in-residence at the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University.


Creative Time has previously worked with Trevor Paglen on The Last Pictures, Creative Time Reports, and the Creative Time Summit.


Photographs by Guillaume Ziccarelli and Nicholas Prakas