Artifacts of Solitary Confinement

These are objects (now, artifacts) collected by artist Mike Bagack, when he worked as a guard in solitary confinement. Bagack worked in the prison system for five years and these are items confiscated because they are dangerous or illegal, or they were left behind when the inmate moved on.

In Bagack’s words, “Prisoner’s who commit crimes in prison are sent to solitary confinement for readjustment.  What little property they have is stripped away and restrictions are placed upon them.  Prisoners spend up to twenty-three hours a day in their cells with minimal human contact.

Prison is a culture with its own laws, currency, language, philosophy, art and a strange need for consumption.  Technology is constantly evolving within society but prisoners remain stagnant.  Prisoners with nothing still find ways to make possessions and barter for other goods.”


  Go to image gallery of the collection