top of page

April 4th - April 26th, 2015

In Proposition for an On Demand Clandestine Communication Network, photographer Curtis Wallen builds on lessons learned from documented CIA operational failures in Italy and Lebanon to formulate his own imagining of a secure mobile network.


Wallen presents documentation of his process through text, photography, and internet traces. The loose narrative progresses from step to step to build a cohesive aesthetic of secrecy, but leaves the details of the procedure as an exercise for the reader.


A phone number is relayed in an undetectable digital drop. Two untraceable phones are active only as long as a call requires and are then destroyed. Any attempt to analyze the network dead ends with unlinkable numbers and rough geographic locations of no distinguishable significance.


Part evidence, part guide, Proposition for an On Demand Clandestine Communication Network outlines the logic of evading detection and operating in the shadows. 



Curtis Wallen is from Missouri. He is interested in systems and the potential for their subversion. He graduated with a BA in Photography from Bard College, where he won the Tierney Prize. In early 2013 he completed a multipart project, In God We Trust, All Others We Monitor: The Story of Aaron Brown, featured in The Atlantic, BBC, VICE Motherboard, and Süddeutsche Zeitung. In The Story of Aaron Brown, Wallen fabricated a digital persona and then used operational tradecraft, bitcoin, and darknet markets to produce counterfeit physical documentation of his online ghost. He then turned the persona over to the public for use through a collaborative Twitter account and online proxy. The project pushes the boundaries of anonymity to explore the potential for evading mass surveillance. 


Opening Reception:
Saturday, April 4th, 2015 

Proposition for an On Demand Clandestine Communication Network

Dossier (32 pages)

Limited Edition of 40


Classified waste incinerator bag, Chromogenic print, lazer jet prints

$85 each


Email for purchase.

bottom of page