Home > bigidea, books > the visual language of secrecy

the visual language of secrecy

patches

I while back I blogged about the US Government’s approved emblems, a moderately popular post for Second Verse. This article in the NY Times today caught my interest in a similar way; it details an attempt by Trevor Paglen to decode the nature and missions of a variety of military “black budget” operations based on some of the only public information that’s available about them: their patches. Paglen has done some work to decrypt the imagery and (really, really poorly written) Latin slogans of these shrouded projects’ emblems. I find the whole concept deliciously intriguing.

I just bought his book, the whimsically titled “I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me” off of Amazon. Here’s hoping I get a chance to write it up soon.

Categories: bigidea, books
  1. April 1, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    Crazy-weird. These are like Girl Scout badges but with a creepy, sinister underbelly. Which is why I like them.

    But seriously, do secret military industrial complex wonks really need *badges*? Do you get a prize for collecting a bunch of these? Isn’t it easier and cheaper just to send in the proof of purchse from the cereal box? (Kristen, I’m looking at you…)

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