Trevor Paglen

A Color Notation

Nov 11 – Dec 24, 2022
Exhibition Details:

Trevor Paglen
A Color Notation
Nov 11 – Dec 24, 2022


2/3F, 267 Itaewon-ro


Press Release (EN)
Press Release (KO)


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Above: Trevor Paglen, Near Bodega Bay Deep Semantic Image Segments, 2022 © Trevor Paglen

Pace is pleased to present an exhibition of new and recent work by Trevor Paglen at its recently expanded arts complex in Seoul.

The show will bring together new and recent landscape photography by the artist. The presentation will focus on Paglen’s visual transformations of natural landscapes through computer programming and artificial intelligence algorithms. A Color Notation will mark the artist’s first solo exhibition at Pace’s gallery in the Korean capital.

Paglen’s rigorous practice encompasses photography, sculpture, video, and installation, and his process often incorporates engineering and journalism. Paglen is known for his investigations of invisible phenomena and forces, including technological, scientific, socio-political, and historical subjects. Through his work, the artist has explored surveillance, data collection, and militarism in America, meditating on the ways these issues influence modes of perceiving and relating to the natural world, from the landscapes of the American West to the cosmological realms beyond the Earth. In recent years, Paglen has presented solo exhibitions at the San José Museum of Art in California; the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh; the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Nam June Paik Art Center in Yongin, South Korea; the Museo Tamayo in Mexico City; and the Barbican Centre in London.

The medium- and large-format photographs in Paglen’s forthcoming exhibition with Pace in Seoul were made using a custom-built computer vision system developed in the artist’s studio. Through this process, the artist reveals the visual outputs of analyses from different computational systems, which draw on his original photographs to generate new interpretations of his images.

Some of the works in A Color Notation are forged with “classical” computer vision algorithms utilized in applications for self-driving cars, industrial manufacturing, weapons systems, and robotics—these algorithms register in the images as fine lines, circles, and other basic shapes. Other artworks in the show have been analyzed by artificial intelligence or machine-learning algorithms that detect and identify different components of black-and-white photographs. In the resulting images, randomized and arbitrary colors represent the regions differentiated from one another by the AI system. Through his masterful manipulation of these technologies, Paglen brings questions of perception to the fore of his image making practice.

A Color Notation will feature a selection of works created by Paglen in 2020 and 2022. Among them are images from the artist’s Bloom series, for which he transforms black-and-white images of blossoming flowers into vibrant and intensely textural tableaus using the AI process. A selection of the artist’s ethereal images of clouds, which show the delicate lines produced by the “classical” computer vision algorithms amid skies of warm purples, pinks, oranges, and reds, will also be on view. Two images of Multnomah Falls in Oregon, one of which is the only black-and-white work in the exhibition, illustrate the wide ranging, otherworldly visual effects from the computer algorithms. The aesthetic beauty of these and other works in the exhibition belie their conceptual and technical complexities.

The group exhibition Codes and algorithms. Wisdom in a calculated world at Espacio Fundación Telefónica in Madrid, which features Paglen’s work and continues through April 17, 2023, coincides with the artist’s upcoming exhibition with Pace in Seoul. His work is also on view in Slip.Stream.Slip (Part 2) at the School of Digital Arts (SODA) in Manchester, United Kingdom, through December 16. Paglen will participate in the forthcoming group exhibition My Life in the Metaverse, opening at the Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi on November 14.

Presented in the main gallery space of Pace’s Seoul gallery, A Color Notation will coincide with an ongoing solo exhibition by the interdisciplinary art collective teamLab, running through December 24 in the gallery’s recently opened ground floor exhibition space specially equipped for experiential and immersive artworks. On the occasion of Frieze Seoul in September, Pace unveiled its new outdoor sculpture courtyard and Osulloc Tea House at its arts complex in the city.


Featured Works

Trevor Paglen, Near Bodega Bay Deep Semantic Image Segments, 2022, Dye sublimation print, 48" × 64" (121.9 cm × 162.6 cm) frame (white)
Trevor Paglen, Bloom (#a4826d), 2022, Dye sublimation print, 19-1/2" × 26" (49.5 cm × 66 cm) work 20-1/4" × 26-3/4" × 1-1/2" (51.4 cm × 67.9 cm × 3.8 cm) frame (white)
Trevor Paglen, Bloom (#bb837e), 2022, Dye sublimation print, 54" × 40-1/2" (137.2 cm × 102.9 cm) work 55-1/8" × 41-5/8" (140 cm × 105.7 cm) frame (white)
Trevor Paglen, Lower Multnomah Falls Progressive Probabilistic Hough Transform; Hough Line Transform; Hough Circle Transform, 2022, Silver gelatin LE print, 72" × 54" (182.9 cm × 137.2 cm) frame (white)
Trevor Paglen, CLOUD #777 Hough Line Transform, 2022, Dye sublimation print, 48" × 60" (121.9 cm × 152.4 cm) work 49-1/8" × 61-1/8" × 2" (124.8 cm × 155.3 cm × 5.1 cm) frame (white)
Trevor Paglen, CLOUD #489 Progressive Probabilistic Hough Transform, 2022, Dye sublimation print, 48" × 60" (121.9 cm × 152.4 cm) work 49-1/8" × 61-1/8" × 2" (124.8 cm × 155.3 cm × 5.1 cm) frame (white)

Installation Views


About the Artist

Trevor Paglen is known for his wide-reaching and interdisciplinary practice that incorporates image-making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines into his unique approach to art. Paglen constantly questions the limits of visuality in series such as The Black Sites, The Other Night Sky, and Limit Telephotography in which the limits of vision are explored through the histories of landscape photography, abstraction, Romanticism, and technology.

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