STEVE ROWELL


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Menwith Hill After the Rain

Menwith Hill After the Rain
2007 (2013 print edition)
archival inkjet print on Hahnemühle Baryta
24 x 35
from the project:
Ultimate High Ground

Located in the North Yorkshire Dales on sovereign British soil, RAF Menwith Hill is said to be the world’s most powerful signals intelligence satellite teleport or "listening post". Despite the RAF (Royal Air Force) affiliation, this is not a British base; the National Security Agency, National Reconnaissance Office, and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency operate this installation. Locals have been protesting this base since the 1980s when it was first revealed to be a US military intelligence site by the reporter Duncan Campbell, who exposed the secret NSA program code-named ECHELON, the precursor to global surveillance programs such as PRISM (SIGAD US-984XN), exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden in 2013. Rainbows are caused by sunlight refracting and reflecting through water droplets in the earth's atmosphere, which sometimes behaves like a massive global prism.

On display January 24–March 16, 2014 in the group exhibition Counterintelligence, curated by Charles Stankievech, at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto.

More on my Ultimate High Ground project.
My 2011 article at Triple Canopy

Campbell's 1993 (!) television program, The Hill, explains his revelations in detail.


Menwith Hill Pastoral
2007 (2013 print edition)
archival inkjet print on Hahnemühle Baryta
24 x 35
from the project:
Ultimate High Ground


Menwith Hill at Night, Streaming Encrypted Data
2008 (2013 print edition)
archival inkjet print on Hahnemühle Baryta
24 x 35
from the project:
Ultimate High Ground


MOD Perimeter Patrol Incident
2007 (2013 print edition)
archival inkjet print on Hahnemühle Baryta
24 x 35
from the project:
Ultimate High Ground