No Service

[2019]



No Service introduces the latest addition to the National Park system, Timberline National Park. Whereas Congress has historically established national parks to preserve and make accessible the sublime – the transcendent quality of the American landscape that overwhelms, defies comprehension, and induces awe – Timberline National Park is devoted to illuminating those same qualities of the information age. The sublime of the U.S. surveillance state.

Timberline National Park’s focal point and eponym is the National Security Agency’s (NSA) covert interception base in Sugar Grove, West Virginia, code-named TIMBERLINE. TIMBERLINE sits within the heart of the U.S. National Radio Quiet Zone, a unique geography where electromagnetic signals are extremely limited or outright banned. Through topographic formation, vegetative IP scrambling, and procession, this thesis revels in the sublime juxtaposition of a covert intelligence apparatus intercepting radio transmissions in a landscape devoid of electromagnetic communication channels, and tackles the urgent issue of grounding and illuminating the deliberately invisible terrain of mass surveillance.