This series is composed of photographs from U.S. government documents pertaining to unidentified flying objects. The documents were obtained from U.S. Air Force files in the National Archives as well as Freedom of Information Act requests submitted to the NSA, FBI, and CIA. A process of bureaucratic accumulation and circulation has abstracted the pictures. They have been rendered unintelligible through repeated photocopying and transfer to microfilm during their lives in the archive. There are also photographs that appear to be deliberately concealed. Rather than functioning as reliable evidence, they invite speculation and do not conform to conventional epistemic expectations of photography.
These photographs become a point of departure for grappling with the limits of photographic legibility and representation when recontextualized as aesthetic objects that recall the negation of modernist abstraction and collage. In the post-9/11 era of WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden, the resurrected photographs also speak to the collective anxiety over excessive bureaucracy and access to information with a tinge of absurdity given UFO imagery’s associations with sci-fi camp and conspiracy theories. What we are allowed to see or know can often be incomplete and indeterminate, encouraging endless contemplation.