Cyclops, by Trevor Paglen, is a networked performance, collaborative narrative, and alternate-reality-game designed to be played by groups of people working together across the word.

Paglen’s interactive speculative reality artwork, titled CYCLOPS, takes the audience on a journey through the world of 1960s-era CIA mind control experiments, psychological operations, and unexplained historical anomalies. For this new work, the artist drew inspiration from Ed Ruscha’s Rocky II sculpture hidden in the Mojave Desert; collisions of facts and fictions in Benjamín Labatut’s book When We Cease to Understand the World; and Internet-era enigmas such as the “Cicada 3301” project.

Featuring documents, videos, and other archival materials produced between the 1950s and early 1970s, CYCLOPS requires active engagement and participation. Users are tasked with reconstructing events, deciphering codes, conducting open-source intelligence investigations, and analyzing music, literature, and poetry to move through a work that is part treasure-hunt, part historical unfiction, and part cybersecurity challenge. In this way, CYCLOPS teaches many of the skills behind Paglen’s own investigative practice, exploring how a clandestine history of research into psychological operations, mind control, and paranormal phenomena has shaped media and politics of the present moment. This networked, collaborative experience spanning the digital and physical worlds can be accessed online at”