Flag bearers in position: Rick Maciel, Leah Rosenberg, Donna Conwell, Elizabeth Travelslight, and Lauren Baines.
Kelly Sicat distributed mini vinyl flags for voting to attendees of the public event.
The public cast votes in three elimination rounds.
The first official raising of an Irrational Exuberance Flag.
The ceremony ended in a procession back to the gallery.
Installation view of Irrational Exuberance Flags on gallery veranda (with Leah Rosenberg's Striped Benches and Illuminated Stripes I).
Ceremonial sashes, 2012–13, nylon, China silk, lamé, 2 x 40 up to 5 x 48 inches each.
The Irrational Exuberance Flag project is a participatory, site-responsive activation of a series of five flags and sashes. The flags declare unabashed enthusiasm. Rather than state or institutional power, these flags suggest emotional states or states of mind.
On January 26, 2013, the Irrational Exuberance Flag project was inaugurated with a public Flag Raising Ceremony at Montalvo Arts Center, in Saratoga, CA.
During the Flag Raising Ceremony, the first officially raised Irrational Exuberance Flag was selected by public vote and raised by a volunteer. Mini flags were distributed for voting and as keepsakes.
The public was invited to sign up to select one of the five flags to hoist with the help of a staff member. Matching ceremonial sashes were available for use during the changing of the flag.
While traditional flags are heavily symbolic, what these designs and colors represent is not predetermined by the artist. They are intended as open-ended patterns upon which viewers project their own positive psychological affect. They form a semaphore of personal sentiment.
The project is also inspired by the acts of looking up, physically and figuratively; as well as the sensations of being airborne and feeling free.
Caption: Christine Wong Yap, Irrational Exuberance Flags, 2012–13, five flags and five sashes; flagpoles, bases; participation; flags: 48 x 48 up to 48 x 80 inches each, poles: 8 to 30 feet each. Supported by Lucas Artists Program at the Montalvo Arts Center. Photos: Susan O’Malley.
It was part of the exhibition, Happiness Is..., curated by Donna Conwell and organized by Lucas Artists Program at the Montalvo Arts Center.
Special thanks to Montalvo Arts Center, Lauren, Donna, Leah, Rick, Elizabeth, Susan, Dan, Kellen, and the Sicat family. Thanks also to all participants.