Songs of Experience

Songs of Experience is a poster series addressing the fall from grace of American cultural institutions such as Uncle Sam, Hollywood, and baseball. The challenge was to produce a poster series inspired by events that occurred on September 13 in any year, and the process was my first foray into pulling a coherent narrative from a seemingly endless and unrelated archive of the daily news.

Lines from the Star Spangled Banner (written September 13, 1814) were used as an ironic counterpoint to the rise and fall of cultural icons like Uncle Sam (born September 13, 1776, as legend has it), Hollywood, and Major League Baseball.

The first stanza of the Star Spangled Banner — "Oh say can you see?" — is juxtaposed with images of spying and surveillance.

"What so proudly we hailed" is paired with celebrity mugshots such as Frank Sinatra and Hugh Grant.

"Through the perilous fight" is a silhouette of Babe Ruth swinging an enormous syringe.