Trevor Paglen. Image courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

What’s Trevor Paglen up to in 2019?

The artist and activist may have reached the stars in 2018, but he has plenty of big shows coming up next year too

Trevor Paglen hit new heights at the end of 2018, with the launch of Orbital Reflector, his fine-art satellite, which was fired into the earth’s orbit via a SpaceX rocket towards the beginning of December.

We should be able to view that work as a tiny dot of light in the skies for the next few weeks. However, 2019 will also present plenty of earthbound opportunities to take in Paglen’s art, which often uses technology to add a provocative, visual dimension to the clandestine activity of governments, intelligence agencies and tech companies.

The artist has high-profile exhibitions coming up at the Barbican in London and at Fondazione Prada in Milan. Read on to find out more about how 2018 went for him, and what he has planned for the next 12 months.


A spread from Trevor Paglen
A spread from Trevor Paglen

What was the thing that inspired you most in 2018? Seeing so many people organize against the madness that has taken over our civic institutions.

What was your personal highlight of 2018? Developing deeper relationships to the people close to me. 

What annoyed you most in 2018? Being ripped off by arts institutions.

What can we expect from you in 2019? Major new installations with the Prada foundation in Milan, the Barbican in London and a few more things I've got up my sleeve.

Who did you give your Phaidon book to for Xmas? I gave it to the people who've supported me over this incredibly hectic year.


Trevor Paglen
Trevor Paglen

For more on Trevor Paglen’s work, life and outlook, order a copy of his book here.