8" x 10"
acrylic & mixed media


Flags Scripts and Codes

by Wendy Angel

A triple nation mix flag.
The inscription is from the Los Luna, New Mexico Decalogue stone. *
The strip on the left is text code of an image file.




The words American and Jewish next to each other stuck on my brain as being about national identity. My birth certificate and citizenship are located in California. Canada has been a part of my experience from the age six and on. The specific locations where I actually experienced my childhood were tied to Israel, a place that I did not physically experience until I was seventeen. Experience is memory. My memory complex is relevant to all my work.

It seems that people have been floating across oceans for a long time and through the centuries several were probably Jews. After all, there have been plenty of reasons for Jews to drift away from other places. I came on the scene in this region due to choices made a hundred years ago by great grandparents. I am a Jew due to choices made by generations since whenever. Each generation chooses to sustain a Jewish identity and remain associated with Jewish experience and ideas. *

I was first contacted to participate in a JCL show because my Aleph-Bet work was related to the theme that year. There was not space for a 22 piece series, so I devised a hypertext rendition as participation in the show. Since then I have been notified of the theme and responded to it. For Ketonet Passim and Icons, I stuck with hypertext as a media. This year I decided to make a physical piece. At first I was going to make a full sized flag. On second thought, I decided size was not a primary concern so I went miniature. The strip on the left is text code of a digital image of the Aleph painting.

I went on line to get the dimensions of the three flags. Fishing for flags linked me into an Internet wave of nationalistic disinformation. National emblems interlace with social and political concerns relating nationalistic ideas. I noted that a lot of web literature of paranoid America is quite sophisticated and well written. It not aimed at a lunatic fringe, but rather, educated Americans. Tripping into the world of Internet paranoia and disinformation was an American Jewish Experience.


* The Los Lunas Inscription is an abridged version of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments, carved into the flat face of a large boulder resting on the side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 35 miles south of Albuquerque. The language is Hebrew, and the script is the Old Hebrew alphabet, with a few Greek letters mixed in.

In general, if the Los Lunas inscription is old-Hebrew, it is no younger than 600 B.C.E. because after that old-Hebrew came to be gradually replaced by the square-Hebrew alphabet. The old-Hebrew and hoenician characters used to be almost identical from 1100 B.C. to 600 B.C. [http://webcom.com/mhc/archaeology]

More on the work of Wendy Angel




Participating in the Jewish Community Library’s annual art exhibit – America and I: Community Artists Reflect on the American Jewish Experience. The show will take place from April 3 – June 30, and is part of the Bureau’s Feast of Jewish Learning celebrating 350 Years of Jewish Life in America.

Art Show Opening:
Sunday, April 3rd, 2-4 pm
America and I, runs through 30 June
Bay Area artists reflect on the American Jewish experience in this far-reaching and provocative exhibit.

350 Years of American Jewish Life with Marc Dollinger
The impressive achievements and unexpected challenges that have faced generations of American Jews over three and a half centuries.
Tuesday, April 12th, 7:30 pm
More JCL Events

The Jewish Community Library is located on the campus of the Jewish Community High School, 1835 Ellis Street (between Scott and Pierce Streets), 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94115. The Library hours are: Sunday 12-4, Monday 10-4, Tuesday 12-6, Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 12-8. The Library is closed on Friday and Saturday. 
The Library’s telephone number is (415) 567-3327, ext. 704;
fax (415) 567-4542; e-mail: library@bjesf.org, Web: www.bjesf.org.