Inverse Universe is a series of photos documenting an upside-down world centered around a U.S. flag with inverted colors. The inverse American flag is a regulation-sized (3 x 5-foot) flag constructed with complementary-colored canvas. I made the flag in 2010 as part of an optical illusion photo booth at Smokey’s Tangle. Staring at the flag and subsequently staring at a blank white wall creates an “after-image” in that displays the flag in its traditional colors.
The project took on a new life after the 2017 presidential inauguration. I removed the flag from my studio wall and carried it to the Oakland women’s march, explaining to curious strangers that staring at the flag and then closing one’s eyes, or inverting the colors to form a “negative” photograph, would show the flag in its traditional colors.
Encouraged by an overwhelming reaction from other marchers, I began photographing the flag in the context of my daily landscapes. This is an ongoing project; for the most up-to-date images, check out my Instagram feed.
The eerie unfamiliarity of the landscapes and the alien look of the humans has reflected my post-inauguration feeling: living a world turned inside out while the ideals of democracy remain as powerful as ever.