February 13, 2011


I Could Tell You But Then You Would Have To Be Destroyed By Me is group of five pieces created for Endeavor Snowboard Design's High 5 Board for the 2011/2012 season. The project was based on material from Trevor Paglan's book of the same name. This wonderful book is an examination of the visual culture of the American Military's black/classified programs, presented through the patches worn by the units involved in these programs. For each of these mysterious patches obtained by Paglan, a rough history is given and the obscure symbolism is deciphered (or at least an attempt is made). It is a small but fascinating glimpse into a hidden world.

Max Jenke from Endeavor gave me the book, asked me to read it, and come up with a graphic based on, or inspired by the contents. I struggled with it at first. While I'm a bit of an aviation geek and know some of the history of this material, I had a hard time getting over the bravado and cheesiness of it all. But I had faith in the idea and there was enough interest in the symbolism involved so I sunk my teeth into that and learned to embrace the less desirable aspects of the material.

The central figure in each piece is an interpretation of the major design element of a particular patch. This central figure bleeds out into a dark area that contains elements from the symbolism and history of the program that the patch relates to. These elements are faint, incomplete and obscured, and this, along with the heavy use of black speaks to the idea that these projects are from a world hidden from view. As a large portion of the patches in Trevor Paglan's book deal with projects that involve aircraft, at the bottom of the frame is a mash up of aircraft, both real and theoretical, that were developed out of American black military projects. Again these elements are kept dark and obscured.

The work presented here are the pieces in their original form. They were lengthened for use as topsheet graphics on the snowboards, and base patch graphics were designed for each board. I'll post images of these in the future when I get some shots of the prototypes from Endeavor.