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Sight Machine by Trevor Paglen in collaboration with Kronos Quartet

Saturday, January 14, 2017 from 8 to 10 pm


Experience an evening of music, artificial intelligence, and machine vision at historic Pier 70 in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood.

This performance by Trevor Paglen explores the way machines “see” and interpret the experience of watching a musical performance. Kronos Quartet will perform works ranging from Baroque composer J. S. Bach to contemporary minimalist composers Terry Riley and Steve Reich and American blues to African folk music. A live video feed of the performance will be processed in real time through surveillance AI algorithms, and the resultant “machine vision” data images will be projected on a screen above the performers.

Sight Machine is organized by the Cantor Arts Center. We gratefully acknowledge support from the Palmer Gross Ducommon Fund and from our partners: Meyer Sound, Obscura Digital, Orton Development, and Plant Construction.
Support of the residency underwritten by the Stanford Arts Institute.


Have questions about this event? Contact who@stanford.edu


About the Artist
Trevor Paglen’s work 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.

Paglen has shown his work in one-person exhibitions at the Secession, Vienna; Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum; Van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands; Frankfurter Kunstverein; and Protocinema, Istanbul. He has participated in group exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern, and numerous other venues.
He has also launched an artwork into distant orbit around Earth in collaboration with Creative Time and MIT, contributed research and cinematography to the Academy Award-winning film Citizenfour, and created a radioactive public sculpture for the exclusion zone in Fukushima, Japan. Learn more

San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet
For more than 40 years, San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet—David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola) and Sunny Yang (cello)—has combined a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to continually reimagining the string quartet experience. In the process, Kronos has become one of the world’s most celebrated and influential ensembles, performing thousands of concerts, releasing more than 60 recordings, collaborating with an eclectic mix of composers and performers, and commissioning over 900 works and arrangements for string quartet. The Grammy-winning quartet has also received the Polar Music and Avery Fisher Prizes. The nonprofit Kronos Performing Arts Association manages all aspects of Kronos’ work, including the commissioning of new works, concert tours and home-season performances, education programs, and an annual Kronos Festival in San Francisco. In 2015, Kronos launched an education initiative, Fifty for the Future: The Kronos Learning Repertoire, which will commission and distribute online for free 50 new works (five by women and five by men, each year for five years) that are designed to train students and emerging professionals. Learn more

Saturday, January 14
8 to 10 pm

Space is limited.

More information on tickets to come.