Proliferation: US Prisons Visualized as Uncontrolled Disease

Seattle multidisciplinary artist Paul Rucker created this animated video and music, which effectively demonstrates the dramatic growth of prison systems in America between 1778 and 2005.

It’s a visceral experience, to say the least:

From the artist himself:

“In May of 2009, I was honored to be part of a Prison Issues residency at the Blue Mountain Center. While there I had the honor of being in the company of some amazing people. Artists, activist from around the world provided over two weeks of inspiration, knowledge, and camaraderie.

“While doing my individual research, I happened upon some maps created by Rose Heyer that showed the growth of the US Prison system. With that information, I was inspired to create Proliferation, an animated mapping of the US Prison system set to original music.”


Green Dots: 1778-1900
Yellow Dots: 1901-1940
Orange Dots: 1941-1980
Red Dots: 1981-2005

Nathan Eyring – Animation
Aaron Bourget- Video Editing
Rose Heyer – Research
Troy Glessner – Music Mastering

Learn more about the artist’s work at

Leave a Reply