I discovered Trevor Paglen’s book I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have to be Destroyed by Me: Emblems from the Pentagon’s Black World some time ago and picked it up because frankly it was awesome design inspiration. A collection of mysteriouso Black Ops military patches. Patches that looked so ridiculous I just assumed this was a design book that had a slew of artists invent these patches and try to pass them off as real but I didn’t really give it much thought and filed the book away on our office bookcase. Well how wrong I was!
After taking a nasty spill on my bike yesterday afternoon and being forced to spend the rest of the afternoon/evening indoors I comforted myself by flipping through whatever few cable channels I have. And of course at the most unexpected of channels, C-SPAN’s Book TV I found my evening’s entertainment. Trevor Paglen was discussing this very book at a very small reading (even though the book had little to read) at Brooklyn’s Melville House.
I was amazed to find out that all the patches were indeed real and he had been collecting them for quite sometime. Paglen makes his living as a military journalist specializing in reporting on all things that should be classified! So trying to decipher the clues of the symbols and iconography on these patches plays heavily into his reporting! Most of the talk was spent pointing out how certain graphics can easily now be related to recently declassified operations, programs or ships. While others were probably hinting to military programs or organizations still under wraps! It quickly started turning into some real X-Files level shit and was quite eye opening and amazing! If any of this remotely interests you (I know it does most of us at Mishka) then you should check out this book and see if you can catch a repeat of his talk on C-Span’s Book TV. Or better yet just frequent his excellent website for all sorts of details and updates!
Like Mulder… I want to believe!