Synopses & Reviews
Using existing elements in prison cells at the massive Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, sound artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller produced a percussive site-specific work that was rhythmic and musical at some points and at other times pure sound, as if made by the multitude of ghosts inhabiting the cells. Eastern State Penitentiary was the world's first true "penitentiary," designed to inspire profound regret--or penitence--in the hearts of criminals. Its influential design featured cell blocks extending like the spokes of a wheel so that each inmate lived in solitary confinement in a vaulted skylit cell. The artists chose Cell Block Seven, an enormous, cathedral-like, two-story wing completed in 1836 for their piece. It had never before been open to the public. "Pandemonium" documents this haunting and ephemeral work with color and black-and-white photographs and an audio CD, enclosed.