Discussion Questions: Trevor Paglen’s KEYHOLE-IMPROVED CRYSTAL from Glacier Point (Optical Reconnaissance Satellite, USA 186)

Trevor Paglen, KEYHOLE-IMPROVED CRYSTAL from Glacier Point (Optical Reconnaissance Satellite, USA 186), 2008; collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Trevor Paglen

  1. How does this photograph compare to other images you’ve seen of Yosemite National Park? What is similar? What is different?
  2. Use all of your senses to describe this place. What does it sound like, smell like, look like, and feel like?
  3. If you wanted to know how the artist made this work of art, what questions would you ask?
  4. The artist has explained that one important aspect of this work is the idea of surveillance, as represented by the imaging satellites that circle overhead. How does knowing this change the way you look at and think about this photograph?

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