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jake's works in progress

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 6 months ago


Here's the link to my current project: 3 types of space


Here's the link to my brainstorm page:  Jake's brainstorm


I have performance piece in mind where I'll be ripping through the stripes on the American flag revealing objects or words beneath based on my interpretation of America. The objects and the words are intented to raise questions about America, and not so much raise praise or lay blame. The performance will be my interaction with the object, experience created for the viewer, and the actual art object that will result. The flag will be constructed from layers of paper that will be torn through by wire (possibly other material). The art object will start off as a white rectangle. The ripped up bands will reveal a red layer below, evoking blood or life, the intention being that America doesn't exist without its living, breathing constituents. Some of the ripped off layers will reveal compartments that will spill forth earth, or fluids, commodities, etc. I will start off clean, but through my continued interaction I will become soiled. Humor is definetly a part of the object and the performance.


The stars will be painted to resemble the dots we see in the sky, and not the 5-pointed shapes on the American flag. They will represent space, but also the psychological space inherent from the artists mind. The artist is a metaphor for all individuals, the stars represent our collective unconsciousness.


Possible ripping items (would love some suggestions for any of the following categories. Really thinking about the connotations objects suggest)

1) Wire, plain no insulation

2) chain

3) Insulated computer wire

4) corrugated (pre-scored, easy to tear. Like lottery pull-tabs)

5) Rope



Possible revealed objects/ ideas:

1) Red fluid that would spill down, soaking other bands that would be red. White bands can be varnished to resisted red fluid. Or other color.

2) Dirt

3) Hotdogs

4) Candy

5) cigarette butts

6) lottery tickets (cuz i'm rich like that!)

7) matchbooks

8) Voting ballots

9) Various natural resources



Possible revealed ideas/ questions/ words of wisdom

1) Apartment for rent

2) Advertisements

3) Lies

4) Expressions of freedom/repression



Class Feedback:

Ian says: I don't see any reference to religion, ie christianity, is this absence intentional or is it simply not something you associate with america. just from my casual googling into what 'defines america' this is by far the dominant theme. you say this is your interperitation of america, but i'm not really clear as to whether this means what america means to you or how you see america, if that makes sense. I think your concept is very strong, the ripping should be very interesting my only other question is how you will address the blue and the stars, for me the stars are really what do the defining of our united states, there is a message of community and interconnectedness that needs to be addressed as a counter to the violence and assertivness of the stripes. I'm sure you are already aware of this, but since you don't mention it I'll link to Jasper Johns, who has similar flag based work


10-1-07 (Kevin)

Jake, I think this piece has the potential to be quite strong, but your craft is going to have to be strong as it's such a visual experience. Some of the comments made in class concerning the materials (red paint, toy bats etc) were good and pointed once again to the fact that we all need to be aware of EVERYTHING that we put into our work, as each viewer will draw their own conclusions. There is a very theatrical feel to this piece (besides your performance)... perhaps it's the idea of stuff being behind a curtain (Wizard of OZ, Price is right, broadway show, voting booths).


10-2-07 (abby)

Be careful, this certainly has the possibility to piss people off. A lot of people see the flag as sacred (did you talk about that is class? I had to go).


10-1-07 Jake

I've narrowed it down to issues of abuse of the planet. New working title Landscape as a Commodity. Topics including: animals slaughter to feed the American diet (red fluid), deforestation (sawed off branches), dead zone of non-biodegradable plastics floating in the ocean, urban spraw demolishing ecosystems, topsoil depletion (soil and corn seed), waste going to landfills, coal and oil references. On the reverse of each ripped stripe will be a statistic or phrases to point each argument. More than a critique on America, I want to raise awareness of these issues that often are ignored.


10-3-07  Jake

    My main topic is human wastefulness and destruction of natural resources, specifically in America.  Each of the seven red stripes will be ripped through to show the supporting details.  Leaving the white stripes between unripped is my way of saying "I don't hate America, but...", which gets taken up in the red stripes.  My ripping through everything at the end to reveal the blue field of stars represents hope and belief in a better future, as the night sky represents the infinite and the ideal.

    The new order for topics revealed under each stripe will begin at the bottom and work its way to the top.  1) Urban spraw. Objects coming out: Hammer, nails, construction materials, monopoly houses, gravel, etc.  2)  Coal  3)  Waste.  Styrofoam cups, pencil shavings, napkins, etc.  4) Dirt & Corn seeds  5) Cut up trees and saw dust  6) Torn plastic sheets  7)  Red Liquid

Now the red fluid comes down last instead of first.  I still plan to nail each ripped up stripe to the wall, but no messages on them.  Instead they will just be painted red.  The inside of the compartment that contained the fallen objects will also be painted red.  The ripping will be done mostly with wire, and also plastic shipping cords.  Some of them might be perforated and ripped off like lottery tickets.  I'm also thinking about having stitches that I pull out.  Once I'm done with all the stripe ripping I will proceed to tear the upper left hand compartments apart until the dark blue field of the stars are revealed. 


10-9-07 Colleen

This is getting better.. I think more specific.  I think Abby's comment is valid and I think you have to be willing to take the stance that you are taking.  It seems to me that while you feel it's important to critique America, you also recognize that it's your home and that, even more than "I don't hate America, but..." - it's "I love America, but..."  Are you too young to remember the PSA about littering from the 70s with the Indigenous American watching people litter and a tear ran down his face?  Cheesy, maybe, but memorable.  The white stripes -- I think Kevin's fear is ligit and should be addressed  If that represents love, perhaps you could demonstrate that to us?  I'm not sure how... anybody?  Then the piece becomes more about your mixed feelings or your struggle, and becomes richer for it.


I think Mining the Flag is a better title than Landscape as a Commodity.  Landscape as a Commodity is the title of your paper that accompanies this piece.


10-9-07 (abby)

How could you make it more clear that you do still love america?  I think that leaving the white stripes gives more of a feeling of blankness, lack of opinion, surrender.  Maybe if you tore those off as well but there was something underneath that is good about america.  Maybe the baby steps that are being taken to address the issues you bring up.  Or maybe other good things - baseball, apple pie, cook outs, helping old ladies accross the street, something. 


Here's a link to the finished piece!



 Hi Jake:  How did you compress the video?  Bring it in and let's try to make it look better.  I like your performance though -- confident  and relaxed.

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