Powering Up / Powering Down 1/30/04-2/1/04
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Trevor Paglen

“Listening to Pelican Bay” is an experimental lecture about the soundscape inside the Security Housing Unit at Pelican Bay State Prison. The performance is an extended meditation on the silence which characterizes this place. Moving between metaphorical and literal definitions of silence, the lecture weaves through a series of audio recordings, video clips, periods of speaking, and periods of silence in order to both illustrate and perform the subject matter.


Trevor Paglen is an artist, writer, and experimental geographer working out of the Department of Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. His work encodes and decodes physical and cultural landscapes in ways that challenge the assumptions, prescriptions, and prohibitions built into human environments. Borrowing heavily from the physical and human sciences, Paglen uses a broad range of contemporary media to develop projects for cultural institutions, activist organizations, and urban landscapes.

“Powering Up/Powering Down” is sponsored in part by the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts (UCIRA), the Center for Research in Computing and the Arts (CRCA), and the UC San Diego Department of Music in connection with the departments of Visual Arts, Music, and Literature at UCSD along with the UC Riverside and Los Angeles campuses.