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‘For my work it’s important to build this armature around images that is outside of the images. It helps them to be read in a deeper way. When I was in school there was the notion that if something was going to be good art, it had to be self-contained; that artwork always had to be placed within a frame. I’ve always felt that nothing can contain itself, that things are constantly being defined outside of a frame and are inevitably part of a larger system. Now, what would happen if you build out that aspect as part of a ‘meta-art’ project? It would mean writing books, and creating a whole constellation from other media to try to give people pathways into the art. For instance, I’ll do a big show on spy satellites, and then I’ll give a lecture explaining how to track spy satellites and what it is they do. In an ideal world I want to create an extended vocabulary people can use to navigate the different themes of an artwork. So I guess I’m the opposite of the artist that tries to hide something away – I’ll just go on and on about it…’

Trevor Paglen in our new issue mono.kultur #44


Dear Friends,

We are proud to introduce mono.kultur #44 with American artist Trevor Paglen. And it might just be our most adventurous yet: traveling from the deserts of New Mexico to the exclusion zone in Fukushima, from satellite orbits in space to the inner realms of Artificial Intelligence, our conversation with Trevor Paglen is as expansive as his work is ambitious.

Best known for his series on clandestine military bases and spy satellites, Trevor Paglen’s practice reaches far beyond museum walls. Instead, it encompasses a variety of disciplines; from image-making and installations to investigative journalism, writing, engineering, geography, and sound design. Along the way, Paglen challenges our traditional notions of fine art. He has published a number of books on the functioning of the US intelligence services, installed a series of Autonomy Cubes that allow access to the entirely anonymous Tor network, and is currently working on his own satellite to be launched into space in summer 2018.

Holding degrees in comparative religion, music composition, fine arts, and geography, Trevor Paglen is undoubtedly concerned with the larger questions in life. In pieces that are statements as much as they are questions, his work exposes the invisible mechanisms of modern existence, exploring the human condition in relation to the political, social, military, and economic systems our societies operate on.

In a sweeping conversation with mono.kultur, Trevor Paglen talked about the volatility of truth, the dilemmas of the Anthropocene, and why Artificial Intelligence will not outlast humanity.

True to its precious content, the issue comes in a Static Shielding Bag normally used for sensitive electronic products. In loose reference to computer coding as well as archival documents, it contains a main booklet with the text and excerpts from Paglen’s current cycle on machine vision, as well as six ‘attachments’ covering seminal projects from his career to date.

Available as ever through our online store mono.konsum, or at the trusted book dealer of your choice very soon indeed.

Enjoy and all our best,


mono.kultur #44
“The reality is always more complicated.”
Autumn 2017 / English / 15 x 20 cm / 24 Pages & 6 Inserts in Static Shielding Bag

Interview by Nick Houde
Works by Trevor Paglen
Design by



Out later this week: mono.kultur #44.


Shelf is one of those little bookstores that are easy to pass by; but for those in the know and on the hunt for rare and special photography books, it is a must. Located in Tokyo’s central Shibuya district, it is to Tokyo what Claire de Rouen would be to London, or 25 Books to Berlin – a place to discover gems of photography art books that you can’t find anywhere else, or possibly didn’t even know existed. Like, for instance, our issue mono.kultur #37 with war photographer James Nachtwey. Sugoi.

3-7-4 Jingumae
150 – 0001 Tokyo


At the printers: mono.kultur #44.


mono.kultur #44: electrostatic content.


Yes. In the works: mono.kultur #44.


It feels a little strange to feature the in-house magazine of COS – itself a subsidiary of fast fashion behemoth H&M, an identity that is neatly hidden behind COS’s cozy Swedish home brand image – as alternative in print. But then again, it does very much stand out against the plethora of branded titles that are all too often little more than thinly veiled catalogues. As is COS magazine, but it is done so well that it also works as a magazine you actually enjoy reading. Which comes as no surprise when you check the masthead, sporting the team behind Fantastic Man and The Gentlewoman as the minds behind COS magazine. And indeed, it features a similar mixture of light interviews, entertaining features and curious trivia, all delivered with the same obsession for detail and that familiar signature charme that seems to come so effortlessly to them. It works rather well with COS’ beige minimalism and proves the point that branded titles can actually be intelligent, not least due to the splendid design by Veronica Ditting that even, dare we say it, surpasses her work as art director for The Gentlewoman.


Unsurprisingly, autumn and book fairs go hand in hand. As temepratures drop and leaves begin to tumble, it is time to stock up on reading matter for long evenings under duvets and with cups of tea / coffee / whiskey at hand. With Berlin and New York already gone, it is now time for the Tokyo Art Book Fair, openinig tomorrow, where our friends at Utrecht will be presenting a range of current and back issues of mono.kultur. Sugoi!

Tokyo Art Book Fair
October 5 –October 8 2017

Warehouse TERRADA
2-6-10 Higashishinagawa


Year and again: Summer with rain. Autumn with sun. Coffee with milk. Elections with no surprises. Books with dreams. Friends with books. mono with kultur. Opening tonight, until Sunday, at the grand hall of Hamburger Bahnhof.

Friends with books
Art Book Fair Berlin
Hamburger Bahnhof Berlin
22–24 September 2017

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