Everybody who comes across Trevor Paglen's art loves it, except the U.S. military. It would like him to quietly disappear. For his art is to expose portions of military business that are hidden, either through distance or paperwork, often using a fantastically powerful lens. Though nothing he does is illegal, a point which is no doubt continuously affirmed and reaffirmed by military personnel, Paglen essentially conducts surveillance on the government. Now he turns his attention toward home, revealing the surprising scope of military ties in the city at lecture and happening The Bay Area's Military-Industrial Complex, with local activist Antonia Juhasz, author of The True Cost of Chevron: An Alternative Annual Report, and the Center for Tactical Magic's Tactical Ice Cream Unit. The military dark zones right in our backyard might surprise you, having embraced the fiction that everybody must fall in line regarding peace and love as one of the requirements for living here. But now that you've heard it, it makes perfect sense, doesn't it? Maybe it explains certain things, helps you connect the dots, confirms one or two conspiracies you're working on? What is it with Muni, anyway? Paglen's visit is part of the "Infinite City: Right Wing of the Dove," a weekend event and part of the much longer series of live art happenings surrounding the release of Rebecca Solnit's must-have Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas. On Aug. 12, Sandow Birk screens In Smog and Thunder, his film about the war between Southern and Northern California; later installments explore local cinema (Sept. 9 and 11) and Mission District identity with Guillermo Gomez-Peña (Oct. 7 and 9).
Sat., Aug. 14, 2 p.m., 2010