Satellite Imagery and the Spectacle of Secret Spaces
Chris Perkins and Martin Dodge
Geography, School of Environment and Development
University of Manchester
This paper documents and assesses emerging efforts to resist and subvert deep-seated and long-held governmental secrecy over geographical spaces of military/security activities and other sites deemed sensitive by the state. It explores tensions in new web-served mapping and high-resolution imagery of these sites, which view them though ‘pin holes’ of publicly available data. These ‘counter-mappings’ focus attention on the significance of sites that are either buried unnoticed in seamless global image coverage, or else censored on official mapping. Some reveal a strongly anti-hegemonic and oppositional discourse, others a more playful set of cultural practices. We situate these newly witnessed secret sites in contemporary visual culture, exploring the spectacular and Debordian possibilities of resistance that they offer, and evaluate the significance and ironies of these diverse imaging practices.
Secrecy, Spectacle, Satellite Imagery, Power, Resistance, Debord