Visual Art

Arts InSight: Re-Mapping American History (video)

Two artists reveal untold versions of the American Dream through maps, installation and video.

  • Image of the artists in a cut map (Photo Credit:  )
    Image of the artists in a cut map (Photo Credit: )
  • Mapcutting (Photo Credit:  )
    Mapcutting (Photo Credit: )
  • Cut map - Southeast Texas (Photo Credit:  )
    Cut map - Southeast Texas (Photo Credit: )
  • U.S.A. map with cowboy imagery and sunset video (Photo Credit:  )
    U.S.A. map with cowboy imagery and sunset video (Photo Credit: )
  • Cut map - Wyoming detail (Photo Credit:  )
    Cut map - Wyoming detail (Photo Credit: )
  • Mapcutting (Photo Credit:  )
    Mapcutting (Photo Credit: )
  • Still image from video installation
    Still image from video installation
  • Still image from video installation
    Still image from video installation
  • Still image from video installation
    Still image from video installation

Artists Nick Vaughan and Jake Margolin talk about their unique artwork, which traffics in themes of travel, suburbia, and western American iconography. Vaughan and Margolin employ vintage American road maps, which they painstakingly cut with razors, excising the negative space between interstate highways, roads and rivers, revealing the vein-like networks and graphic imagery they’ve layered into the maps.

For the exhibition 50 States: Wyoming, Vaughan and Margolin retraced Scottish lord William Drummond Stewart‘s mid-1800s journey from St. Louis to a remote lake in Wyoming, where Stewart had organized a wilderness bacchanal for 100 probably same-sex-attracted men. One of Vaughan and Margolin’s goals as artists is to shine a light on little-known American queer narratives, revealing untold stories of the American Dream that are only now beginning to reach mainstream audiences.

This video will air Friday, February 5, 8:30pm, as part of the Houston PBS (TV 8) program Arts InSight.

50 States: Wyoming is on view through February 27, 2016, at Art League Houston.

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Troy Schulze

Troy Schulze

Producer, Houston Matters

Troy Schulze is a producer for Houston Matters. He also produces the podcast Party Politics and the digital video series Skyline Sessions. Schulze has been working as a writer and producer in digital media for over 20 years. He has received three Emmy nominations for his work on the TV...

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