I saw red


in 1992, when Pat Buchanan at the Republican Convention exhorted the American people "...to take back our culture, take back our country."

I thought, "Who are you talking to, Kimo Sabe?"

The next day, I designed this.

E Pluribus Unum
"E Pluribus Unum" 1992,  8.5 x 11 inches
(Click above for larger image)

Based on a Latin phrase meaning "from many, one", E Pluribus Unum is the motto on the Great Seal of the United States of America. The central image is the rampant bald eagle of the great seal of the United States.  Grasping an olive branch as an offering of peace, the eagle also holds a clutch of arrows as an alternative when peace is rejected.  Surrounding patterns represent peoples of the world whose contributions have forged our culture.  Behind the head is a Native American design from a Hopi vase.  Under the right wing is an African motif from a Kuba textile (Zaire).  A Star of David represents the special contribution of the Jews.  Below the left wing is an Asian pattern from an Edo textile (Japan).  Underneath the eagle is a European design from a classical Greek ceramic vessel.

I  laid out working circuits in copper traces which are tin flashed to give them a silvery surface.  I found a circuit board fabricator and had them etch the patterns of circuits and collaged imagery on it.  The result is a simple bare, unpopulated board.

However, to test the circuitry, I assembled a few with  integrated circuits, light emitting diodes and photocells which cause shifting patterns of small red lights to travel about the surface.

After I made it.  I realized I was inspired by my Polish grand mother who lived somewhat isolated in a small hill town in Kentucky.  She was shunned by many because she was a "damn 'furiner', but she had plaques not unlike this one in her house .
Jim Pallas
Applegate, Mi.
Note: Because the sheen of the silvery image is difficult to photograph, a very short video is here.
This artwork won the R. L. Polk Company "Art and Technology " award in 2001.
This page was selected as "Site of the Month" by Corrine Whitaker at Giraffe.com

eBayAvailable  for $99.90  -  signed and dated.
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                                                           (My friend  put this up on his eBay store for me.)