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It's risky to classify art, but in the case of Trevor Paglen, the government already considers his topics "classified."

Paglen — an artist, photographer, geographer and sculptor who aims to reveal the places governments hide from the public — will deliver a lecture, "Making the Invisible Visible," Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Dumke Auditorium at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts, 410 Campus Center Drive, Salt Lake City.

Paglen's best-known work is long-distance photography of secret government sites. Using a technique called limit telephotography, he uses high-powered telescopes to take images miles from locations that are inaccessible. Many of these are in the remotest parts of the western United States.

Some of his work was featured in the documentary "Citizenfour," director Laura Poitras' interview with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. UMFA acquired four of Paglen's limit-telephotography images in 2008.

Secret operations have long been an interest of Paglen's. One book he wrote, "I Could Tell You Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me," about the patches Pentagon officers wear for classified projects, even landed him on "The Colbert Report" in 2008.

Paglen's lecture is part of UMFA's series "ARTLandish: Land Art, Landscape and the Environment" and the Utah Humanities Book Festival. Admission is free.

Sean P. Means