Trevor Paglen, PRELUDES, Mint #0 © Trevor Paglen

Art Blocks x Pace Verso

Trevor Paglen


NFT Details

Trevor Paglen
Release date: Wednesday, April 5, 2023

How to Purchase

For assistance in purchasing NFTs, please contact us at verso@pacegallery.com.

PRELUDES holders can claim their CYCLOPS LP by visiting (opens in a new window) cyclopsgroup.art

Terms & Conditions


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Trevor Paglen’s first-ever Web3 series, PRELUDES, is one component of a multifaceted project that also includes a new “speculative reality work” in the form of a vinyl LP record and an in-person exhibition on view at Pace Gallery in New York from May 12 to July 22.

All these elements explore histories of military and CIA influence operations in the US, centering on themes of “mind control,” PSYOPS, and disinformation.

Paglen—whose rigorous practice spanning photography, sculpture, video, and installation often involves engineering and journalism—is known for his investigations of invisible phenomena and forces, including technological, scientific, socio-political, and historical subjects. He has spent much of his career finding and divulging secrets that are hidden in plain sight, and, with PRELUDES, the artist harnesses the peculiarities of blockchain’s underlying technology to plant secrets within his NFTs.

Each of the 250 unique, generative NFTs in the interactive and experiential PRELUDES series is paired with a musical score. The sound in these NFTs is inspired by the work of John Cage and Iannis Xenakis, pioneers of algorithmically generated music, as well as composers Michael Haydn, Johannes Brahms, and Olivier Messiaen, who developed systems for encoding messages into their music.

Teaching the fundamentals of cryptography, PRELUDES centers on issues of subjectivity and perception. The NFTs are loaded with hidden easter eggs for collectors to uncover, decipher, and utilize in other parts of Paglen’s expansive project. Collectors who unearth their NFT’s secrets are entitled to a limited-edition vinyl record LP from Paglen’s related “speculative reality work,” titled CYCLOPS, and a gelatin-silver print created by the artist.

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Trevor Paglen


A New "Speculative Reality Work" and Related Web3 Series

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Trevor Paglen on PRELUDES

In our new film, artist Trevor Paglen discusses the technological, scientific, socio-political, and historical inspirations behind his experiential Web3 series, PRELUDES.


About the Artist

Trevor Paglen is known for investigating the invisible through the visible, with a wide-reaching approach that spans image making, sculpture, investigative journalism, writing, engineering, and numerous other disciplines. Among his chief concerns are learning how to see the historical moment we live in and developing the means to imagine alternative futures.

Learn More

  • Pace Verso — Trevor Paglen: PRELUDES, Mar 23, 2023