Beta Space: Trevor Paglen

Interior of SJMA's clocktower. Photo by Richard James Karson.

Friday, November 5, 2021Sunday, November 6, 2022
Organized by Kathryn Wade, assistant curator.

Beta Space: Trevor Paglen will feature the artist’s first sound commission, a new public artwork installed in SJMA’s historic clocktower and resounding into the streets of downtown San José. The year-long installation opens on First Friday, November 5, 2021 and will be up through November 6, 2022.  

For the seventh installation of the Museum’s ongoing “Beta Space” series, a commissioning program that offers artists opportunities to experiment with and exhibit new ideas, materials, and modes of working, Paglen investigates the triangulation between sound, time, and truth. Several times a day, Paglen’s sound piece will emanate real-time temporal and environmental facts. Beginning with the current time and weather, a voice synthesizer reads dynamically generated text from “official” data sets like satellite navigation systems, the UN critically endangered species list, and Cal Fire updates. Resonating through the streets, aural information recasts the texture of the city for approximately 45 seconds each time the work sounds. This project joins other artworks such as The Last Pictures (2012) and Trinity Cube (2015) that explore the ethics and politics of human interventions into geologic time.

Support

Beta Space: Trevor Paglen is supported by the SJMA Exhibitions Fund, with generous contributions from the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Operations and programs at the San José Museum of Art are made possible by generous support from the Museum's Board of Trustees, a Cultural Affairs Grant from the City of San José, the Lipman Family Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Richard A. Karp Charitable Foundation, Yvonne and Mike Nevens, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Yellow Chair Foundation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the SJMA Director's Council and Council of 100, the San José Museum of Art Endowment Fund established by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and The William Randolph Hearst Foundation. 


Logos of the City of San José and the David Lucile and Packard Foundation

Press

Fall Arts Guide 2021, Metroactive
August 25, 2021

Bay Area Visual Art Exhibitions Not to Miss this Fall, KQED
August 30, 2021