Gabriel Jacobs, Competitive Scholarship Entry, Dec 2017

  • me besides piece, for reference I am 6' tall and slouching 
  • "alex jones", 8'x4' ballpoint pen on drawing paper, nov 17'

    Description: After watching/reading over 50hrs of Alex Jones content (far right internet conspiracy theorist) I compiled multiple drafts of increasing size documenting each belief of his in a massive web. Theories concerning the existence of the Deep State, ties to Globalist, that BLM is a terrorist group affiliated with ISIS and the Clintons run a child sex ring....etc. The work serves to highlight the broken logic and foundationless system of ideologies animating many aspects of this polarized political climate.


  • "bernie", digital, 24x36" archival inkjet print
  • "trump & palin", digital, 24x36" archival inkjet print
  • "ted cruz & family", digital, 24x36" archival inkjet print
  • "deconstructed politicians", three 24x36" prints​​​​​​​
  • "faux maverick legacy", 6 digital images (meant for display separately )

    These 6 images were created using an entirely digital simulated scanner bed process. On the computer, a virtual scanner bed is defined replete with a scanning sensor that moves along the bed at a constant rate. By moving an image on the plane, changing speed, directionality and spacing color channels you can allow for user-controlled effects on the image like elongations, compressions and RGB “spaghettification”(see image 1). While “Scanography” is not a new process the act of doing so entirely digitally is. By skipping the hybrid process of physically dragging an object on the bed I am allowed for a higher degree of control than normal, I plan to continue experimenting with this digital process in the future.
  • video of "untitled"(deconstructed teddy bear with deep-fried memes), 3ft radius x 5ft length, artificial fur mounted on rebar frame stuffed with cotton suspended from metal chain with inkjet canvas prints hanging from sides
  • me standing beside "untitled"(deconstructed teddy bear with deep-fried memes)
  • "untitled"(deconstructed teddy bear with deep-fried memes), 3ft radius x 5ft length, artificial fur mounted on rebar frame stuffed with cotton suspended from metal chain with inkjet canvas prints hanging from sides

    Growing up in the early 2000’s my life was never without the internet, and while the internet came into existence in the early 90’s it truly didn't become the ultra-accessible haven we know it to be until around 2000, with the ever-increasing adoption of broadband and dissolution of dial up the speed and thus the content able to be served grew larger in both scale and visual acuity. It was this period I learn to use the computer when colorful images loaded near instantly and Google was the only man in your life who knew more than your dad.

        This is when I was introduced to memes, I don’t remember when I saw my first one but I remember seeking them out. This formulaic joke in image format that held multitudes of permutations and presentations. What wasn’t so interesting was the amount but rather how they changed, how memes after spreading their wings too far melted and fell back to earth usually this coincided with when your mother started to make her own in that specific format and post to her Facebook wall. The process is not new, styles change and taste alter given any period of time but the speed and breadth of memes did so was faster than anything else at the time. To be in the “know” to have seen the latest was to be cool and god forbid you try to pass off a “stale” meme.

        This is what inspired me to create this final project. Roughly one year ago a new type of meme started to arise, or rather a reinterpretation of an existing phenomenon occurring to memes. The “deep fried” meme. A deep-fried meme is a meme of which has been screenshotted, reposted, had filters and compression all wreak havoc on it making for an almost unreadable jpg artifacted mess of an image. Over the course of time, this degradation has become in essence the joke itself with people purposefully making nonsensical memes that have been proverbably “deep-fried.”

        I wanted to find a way to display these strange images, to tack them to something organic, fleshy that had form and occupied a physical space beyond the screens these were relegated to. I settled on the idea of covering a giant teddy bear in their cloth printouts, adorning for all to see. After lots of critiques and second thoughts, I destroyed the teddy bear instead opting for something more simple, an almost peanut/punching bag shape. Then let the memes hang from the top brushing the surface but not necessarily engaging with it. The piece itself was hung as well to encourage people to walk around it and to interact with its tendrils and fur. In the simplest sense, the bear itself like the memes hanging from its top was deep-fried, the result an amorphous flesh like piece cues of what form it was before cresting its skin but a new object on the whole. It flutters between the thing it was and what it is at this moment in time.

  • "friend's fake id photo and her knees", two 24x26" inkjet archival prints
  • left: view from top showing my "shoddy" internal bracing...lesson learned.    right: student viewing work in critique
  • "#maga", 8ft circular digital print on canvas suspended by chain

    Researching the tradition of "Typology" that is "a classification according to general type, especially in archaeology, psychology, or the social sciences". I was fascinated by the idea of a modern equivalent. Spending a lot of time on twitter interacting with all host of profiles I began to think about the idea of the "follower" and how the collective action is a social cue of interest and identify the sum an amalgamation of one's self.

    Seeing many pro-trump profiles I began to notice patterns and repetition in various ways among what info what championed in the profile description. Tropes, themes, hashtags, each was just another slightly altered version of each other. This is of course not reserved to purely trump supporters but it seemed most pertinent to them.

    I wanted to then see these profiles together as a collective, to present these digital profiles as a floating collection of objects, a power in a whole. I started by creating a new twitter account and followed people who had #maga (make America great again) in their profiles. Then I let twitter's algorithm dictate who I would follow next screenshotting each person to appear in the "Suggested Who to Follow box" and following them. I did this hundred's of times, never making a concious effort of who to follow just what was suggested. 

    As one might expect I quickly found myself in a closed loop only following those of one side, whether it be the "Good Christian Grandma" with Blue Lives matter in her profile from Texas, the "Two time Iraq Veteran' with #backgroundcheckskill from Maine or the profile "Save the white children" quite self explanatory. 

    While my initial idea was to create a massive hanging cylinder with prints on the inside you must duck into to view I did not possess enough printable canvas to do that opting for an outside cylinder that rotates.