Viewing Distance compiles and transforms declassified material from US government archives to examine photography as a tool of the military-industrial complex for reconnaissance, surveillance, and documentation of advanced technologies. While many of the source images for this body of work date back to the middle 20th century, they have only recently been released 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. The series combines photographs pertaining to the clandestine innovations and operations of that era with contemporary documents and devices, connecting past and present. Processes including analog printing, digital collage, scanner manipulation, and data bending are used to animate the archival material. Through this disruption and layering, 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.
Viewing Distance will be published by Daylight Books in November 2021.
Project Oxcart (Pilot)
Project Oxcart (A-12)
The Million-Dollar Photograph