The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

UCR ARTSblock presents A Rare Appearance By Trevor Paglen (Featured in Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration)

Friday, March 22, 2013, 7:30 PM, Free Admission

RIVERSIDE, CALF.—Since 1963, more than eight hundred spacecraft have been launched into geosynchronous orbit, forming a man-made ring of satellites around the Earth. These satellites are destined to become the longest-lasting artifacts of human civilization, quietly floating through space long after every trace of humanity has disappeared from the planet.

Trevor Paglen’s The Last Pictures is a project that marks one of these spacecraft with a visual record of our contemporary historical moment. Paglen spent five years interviewing scientists, artists, anthropologists, and philosophers to consider what such a cultural mark should be. Working with materials scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Paglen developed an artifact designed to last billions of years—an ultra-archival disc, micro-etched with one hundred photographs and encased in a gold-plated shell. In November 2012, the communications satellite EchoStar XVI launched into geostationary orbit with the disc mounted to its anti-earth deck. While the satellite’s broadcast images are as fleeting as the light-speed radio waves they travel on, The Last Pictures will remain in outer space slowly circling the Earth until the Earth itself is no more.

One of the images selected is by Ansel Adams from UCR ARTSblock’s California Museum of Photography’s permanent collection.

Complete details about The Last Pictures project,

Short, 12-minute video documentary about The Last Pictures,

About the artist

Trevor Paglen’s work blurs disciplinary and formal borders to construct unfamiliar ways to see and interpret the world around us. Paglen’s visual work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Tate Modern, London; The Walker Arts Center, Minneapolis; The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Institute for Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Istanbul Biennial 2009, and at numerous other solo and group exhibitions. He is the author of five books and numerous articles on subjects such as future warfare, state secrecy, experimental geography, anthropogeomorphology, deep-time, and cave art. He spends more time thinking about modernist painting than he would like to admit. Paglen holds a B.A. from UC Berkeley, an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a Ph.D. in Geography from UC Berkeley. He lives and works in New York.

About Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Exploration

Free Enterprise: The Art of Citizen Space Explorationis the first contemporary art exhibition in the U.S. to present an international array of artists and organizations who are exploring the potential democratization of space exploration and the intersection between artistic production and civilian space travel. The possibility of fulfilling the human dream to fly into space has been encouraged by a major political and cultural shift away from state-sponsored space activities—which are controlled by agencies such as NASA in the USA, JAXA in Japan and RKA in Russia —towards a private enterprise model. Free Enterprise is organized by UCR ARTSblock and curated by Tyler Stallings and Marko Peljhan.

The entire exhibition runs through Saturday, March 23rd. Then it closes in phases through May 18th. See website for details,

The exhibition will be open prior to Trevor Paglen’s lecture on Friday, March 22, 7:30 PM.

Visitor Information and Press Inquiries

UCR ARTSblock is located at 3824 & 3834 Main St., Riverside, CA 92501, and includes three venues: California Museum of Photography, Culver Center of the Arts, and Sweeney Art Gallery, which are open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m., plus 6-9 p.m. for First Thursday ArtWalks. Admission is $3, which includes entry to all three venues, and is free during First Thursday ArtWalks (6-9 p.m.). For film screenings, Culver Center opens 30 minutes prior to the start time. Press inquiries: Tyler Stallings, 951-827-1463,

Photo: Trevor Paglen at opening event for The Last Pictures, Fall 2012, New York City.

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