American Sporting Alphabet

Silkscreen T-shirt project, 2007

American Sporting Alphabet

A remix in homage to Heidi Cody's pop art classic American Alphabet, this project mines the iconic logos that represent the teams, management and media influences of a particular American sporting tradition.

American Sporting Alphabet then injects these remixed images back into the circuits of electronic production and consumption in the form of "sports merchandise," challenging questions of intellectual property and the commons of the imagined sporting community in the process.

Banned From Cafepress

But American Sporting Alphabet is also an indirect critique of Cody's work in that it demonstrates how the recombinant logic undermining a particular network of signification may itself form an abstract diagram able to slide transversally into other aesthetic and political contexts.

American Sporting Alphabet

Letter Notes

  1. Oakland Athletics: with the way this franchise has changed the business of baseball, and indeed all of team sports, it had to be included.
  2. Boston Red Sox: one of the signature franchises in Major League Baseball.
  3. Chicago Bears: one of the original and most storied franchises in professional football.
  4. Detroit Tigers.
  5. ESPN: radically revolutionized the business of professional sport and sports media.
  6. NFL: the most powerful American sports league, also known as the "No Fun League".
  7. Green Bay Packers: a community-owned professional football club.
  8. Montreal Canadiens: les Habitants are one of the most storied franchises in hockey history.
  9. CBS: the eye of sports television.
  10. New York Jets.
  11. Kansas City Royals.
  12. Los Angeles Lakers: relocated franchise from Minneapolis becomes Showtime.
  13. New York Mets.
  14. New York Giants.
  15. Baltimore Orioles.
  16. Indiana Pacers: apologies to Philly, but you had no really good P that was more visually dominant than these Hoosier-state ballers, and without that, you're just Illadelphia.
  17. Quokka Sports: new cutting-edge broadband sports network epitomized the boom and bust of the dot-com era.
  18. Houston Rockets: that this franchise redesigned its logo specifically because of Yao Ming and the potential of the Chinese market speaks volumes about the globalization of professional sports.
  19. Chicago White Sox.
  20. Toronto Maple Leafs: the wealthiest hockey franchise in the world.
  21. University of Miami Hurricanes: my one nod to the college sports scene, and who more appropriate than the "outlaw" football program of the '90s.
  22. Vandal Athletic Club: from the all-black fives era of basketball nearly a century ago.
  23. Hartford Whalers: symbolic of NHL franchise relocation from small northern towns to larger cities in the south.
  24. XFL: this competitor "extreme" league, an interesting juxtaposition with F, was football's answer to New Coke.
  25. New York Yankees.
  26. Utah Jazz: significant in how it shows the logo redesign (and awkward transition) from the New Orleans music scene to Mormon country.