Artists' Television Access

Jessica Miller: Flagging Allegiance

Tuesday, June 15, 2010, 7:00 pm

Opening reception Tuesday, June 15th, 7-10pm

“I work as a graphic designer and recently I was asked by a client to add an American flag to their website. In their minds, this über-American symbol would infer a sense of legitimacy, security, and safety, thus encouraging their customers to give them money online. (The irony however, was that they had just been bought by a British parent company.) Politicians and news stations employ a similar strategy: by asking a designer to invent for them a connection to our historic past, they invoke the American brand for their own purposes.

“And it occurred to me that these symbols which convey ‘America’ are just simple colors and shapes, like any others at my and everyone else’s disposal. It takes very little to invoke the American brand. As design tropes, navy blue and cherry red stars stripes eagles airplanes anything really — are sickening in their ubiquity. I know I generally tune them out. However, their consistent overuse only makes them more deserving of deeper research into their form and function, content and context.”

Jessica Miller is an artist who lives and works in San Francisco. For more information, please visit: