In recent years, feminist geopolitics and the turns toward emotional and affective geography have resulted in new perspectives on theories of power, embodiment and subjectivity. Other recent trends have considered non-human objects as important for state theory, insofar as state practice often relies upon the force of objects in everyday life. This article works to bring together object-oriented and emotional geographies for a new perspective on the state. It does so by drawing on another theoretical tradition that has been less familiar for political geography: psychoanalytic theory. Findings from ethnographic research with residents living near the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona help illuminate the presence and spectral circulation of what we call the "face of the state" as a psycho-emotional entity in everyday life for these residents. Surveillance objects enter the psyche through the face of the state, insofar as they are imagined and felt as a visual and embodied experience. The force of the object, then, extends beyond its own materiality and into the psycho-social dimensions of life through which state power operates, thereby empowering the border to gaze at the subject population in powerful new ways.