Laura Poitras: Astro Noise
Laura Poitras: Astro Noise was the first solo museum exhibition by artist, filmmaker, and journalist Laura Poitras. It built on topics important to her, including mass surveillance, the war on terror, the U.S. drone program, Guantánamo Bay Prison, occupation, and torture. Some of these issues have been investigated in her films, including Citizenfour, which won the 2015 Academy Award for Best Documentary, and in her reporting, which was awarded a 2014 Pulitzer Prize.
For the exhibition, Poitras created an interrelated series of immersive environments that incorporated documentary footage, architectural interventions, primary documents, and narrative structures. The title, Astro Noise, referred to the faint background disturbance of thermal radiation left over from the Big Bang. It is also the name Edward Snowden gave to an encrypted file containing evidence of mass surveillance by the National Security Agency that he shared with Poitras in 2013.