Exhibitions & Events



Lost Prairie Valley

Planetary Bayou

Field Guide to Environmental Crime: Houston and the Oil Coast

Dead Zones

Extinction Simulation Landscapes

Lunar Mosaics

MacDowell Trilogy

Humans Lived Here Once

Whole Life Academy

Comfort in Hydrology

Uncanny Sensing, Remote Valleys

Water Castle

Radio Aporee Sound Map

Midstream at Twilight



Forest Threnody

Big Hill Petro-glyphs

Current State

Points of Presence

Brandenburg Series

Svalbard Global Seed Vault

Sonic Boom Archive

Johnston Island Saturday Night

Suspension of Disbelief

Quantum Danube


Culpeper Media Bunker

A Doubting World

“... the floors of silent seas”

Background Listening Post

Regional Spatialities

Dark Places

Ultimate High Ground

American Oil Vol. I

Kleine Stücke von Berlin


Playas Townsite

Shepard Inversion Ghost


Shock + Awe

Gloom & Doom / Tactile Air

Routes of Least


Weather Radio

Site: Nonsite: Quartzsite

The Mountain Radio Project

Ballarat: Beneath Sentinel

CLUI Projects

Networked Nation


Urban Crude

CLUI Touchscreen

Texas Oil

Wendover, U.S.A.

CLUI Exhibit Posters

Pavement Paradise

Vacation: Dauphin

Dissipation & Disintegration

Terminal Island

Immersed Remains

Diversions & Dislocations

Emergency State

Loop Feedback Loop

A View into the Pipe

Ground Up

Nellis Range - Revisited

West Coast Points

The Best Dead Mall


Antarctic 1

One Wilshire

Alternate Routes

Proximity Issue

Back to the Bay

︎  ︎

© 2024 Steve Rowell


Steve Rowell



Parallelograms is an experimental documentary that maps a landscape of dark money in Washington, D.C.. As shadow institutions come into focus, we glimpse a parallel world.

This film is about where vectors of corruption, influence, politics, and architecture intersect and how they are manifested.

Political Action Committees, think tanks, trade associations, lobbying agencies, and advocacy groups are institutions where experts gather to discuss, map, and strategize, creating political and economic environments that help secure their visions of the future. This project is concerned with the multiverse of these near futures -- some more probable than others -- as well as with the present. It also serves as a linear “cognitive mapping” experiment in which the viewer experiences a compressed, systematic tour of a dense and complex political terrain. This is a site-specific film, in that each building facade is the actual location of the institution represented. Most of these institutions have publicly available addresses, a few required a measure of sleuthing to reveal.

Visually, the film is composed of telescopic, oblique views of windows. Reflections in these widows, often mirrored, reveal an inverse “known world,” underscoring complications of what is perceived and what is real. In this sense, material elements of architecture frame as well as distort the landscape. Sonically, the film uses a unique device to represent locations pictured: each site is presented to the viewer by way of an outgoing phone message, recorded via telephone, after business hours, from the represented institution. These disembodied monologues, uncannily recontextualized, become dialogues between architecture and viewer, implying layers of perceived meaning open to speculation.


Abstraction coexists with the real as a reflection of the current state of political discourse in America today. Corrupted power and distorted influence affects us all by exacerbating economic disparity, resource depletion, environmental degradation, and civil rights abuses. The intent of Parallelograms is not simply to present documentation from an exhaustive list, or to dictate any particular activist agenda, but rather, to extrapolate from the political landscape in a way that compels discussion about campaign finance reform, dark money, and climate change denial.

Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts – Chicago

Provisions Research Center for Arts & Social Change – Washington, D.C.
Immaterial Incorporated – New York

Popol Vuh, "Kha-White Structures I", In den Gärten Pharaos, 1971/2004.
Used with permission from the estate of Florian Fricke.

Parallelograms was premiered (World, European, German) on February 03, 2016 at transmediale 2016 in Berlin as an installation: video loop of the film (32 minutes) with a synchronized map video. A pamphlet was also given out which included a text written by Brian Holmes. Article about the talk on opening night.
A preview, in the form of a series of photo-grids, was published in the Summer 2014 issue of Cabinet Magazine.

Parallelograms Interactive Map
featuring sites in the film as well as a selection of additional sites: