Bailie S. '21
This piece is a map of the United States, inspired by Nam June Paik’s Electronic Superhighway and done in the style of Varvara Stepanova’s Results of the First Five Year Plan. Conceptually, the piece takes after Paik’s work, which is a life-sized U.S. map with neon lights and television screens created in 1995. Electronic Superhighway both celebrates the use of technology but also explores its challenges. Visually, however, the piece reflects Stepanova’s work who contrasts solid color with images in her work to serve as propaganda. The collage itself is created with images on printer paper that were traced onto tracing paper, then glued onto the final piece. The piece is surrounded by a string border painted in vibrant colors to replicate the neon lights Paik used to represent highways. Stepanova, in her piece, also used areas of solid color, which I used in the smaller northeastern states. Each image on the collage was chosen with care to embody the symbols or landscape of that area, and how each state identity contributes to the larger American identity. For example, the historic Liberty Bell, is a symbol for freedom in the American Revolution for Pennsylvania, and the recent protests identify Minnesota. Ultimately, this project represents what makes up American identity. America itself is a collage, as it is home to so many different people with varying ideas and points of view.