David Maisel’s (born 1961) Proving Ground comprises aerial and on-site photographs made at Dugway Proving Ground, a classified military site covering nearly 800,000 acres in Utah’s Great Salt Lake Desert. A primary mission of Dugway is to develop, test and implement chemical and biological weaponry and defense programs. After more than a decade of inquiry, Maisel was granted access to this facility in order to photograph the terrain, the testing facilities and other aspects of the site.
Maisel began by photographing at ground level, focusing on structures related to the testing of chemical warfare dispersal patterns. He then moved to an aerial perspective to create images that resemble large-scale minimalist drawings inscribed on the land. Maisel’s work at Dugway also includes photographs of the newly minted WSLAT (Whole System Live Agent Test) facility, which is devoted to identification and neutralization of chemical and biological toxins that can be weaponized by terrorists or rogue nations.
Hardcover: 250 pages
Publisher: Radius Books (2020)