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Erik White

Sublimnalities click for Deep Zoom image


De Anza College Mural Restoration Project

See the full proposal

"De Anza College Alum in the middle of mural controversy", San Francisco News,, 2/27/09
more links to Sublimnalities in the news

The mural in the L-quad at De Anza College, Sublimnalities, symbolizes why I went back to school and became a student senator. It contains the struggles of history and a prophecy of the future. As a transfer student and graduate of Berkeley with a BA in English, Sublimnalities makes me feel connected to the struggles of the past that empower us as people. The struggles that give us the ability and freedom to have a multicultural community college like De Anza. It is a historical reminder of the struggle for equality and multiculturalism fought for by the civil rights movement, a physical reminder of De Anza’s contribution to the fight for moral responsibility, and a beacon to the values of a liberal education; values that exemplify the best of human aspirations, marching together to bring peace through love and compassion. Sublimnalities 1

Sublimnalities 2 Today these values are being tested. Just as the mural predicts, humanity is at an impasse. We have a choice. Honor our past and the struggles which got us here, or embrace the computerized darkness—leading to the destruction of our beloved California and the alienation of individuals caught in a computerized maze, with no feeling, compassion, or human contact. This mural is so important because it shows us the best part of our shared American history, fighting for justice and equality. Its creation was a courageous statement that De Anza, its students, faculty, and administration stand together with all of those faces of the past that have fought and marched for a better world.
Its restoration and preservation connects this generation with those great generations that fought for our freedoms by renewing a commitment to excellence that does not stand for tyranny or oppression, but empowers people to fight for what is right and good despite the sacrifices of the struggle. So let us remember in the coming years as the mural is born again that the price we pay now to restore a great piece of art will be repaid for many years to come as countless students are enlightened and learn from this great piece of De Anza’s history. Sublimnalities 3
Sublimnalities 4 Freedom is a great responsibility. It always comes with a price. This mural shows us how high that price can be. It is a moment in the great struggle between the education of free people and the education of slaves. It shows us the sacrifices of people who became themselves when they cared for others. People united together who have been instrumental in the moral and ethical struggle for rights and liberty. It reminds us that we are living in a constant battle between right and wrong; and if we ignore our place in this fight our learning institutions, indeed our entire planet will be subject to the same physical decay this mural has seen.
The mural’s prophecy is a reminder that we are in danger of becoming disconnected from each other, ignoring our shared past at great peril. This is the history we share. The Watts riots, segregation, unionization, scientific advancements, and a time of great strife and hardships. The civil rights movement fought the tyranny and oppression in American institutions. This led to a time of plenty and abundant resources. This luxury of abundant food freed us from the fields and enabled great scientific advancements. Sublimnalities 5
Sublimnalities 6 Scientific achievement, the discovery of DNA, and the invention of the internet have given us invaluable tools to help us understand our world—but these tools are dividing us. The internet, hand held computers and phones meant to connect us to each other have distracted us from the world we live in, alienating us from each other, showing us an ever more detached and mediated version of ourselves, melting into the couch, absorbed by television. Alienated from each other and from the land we live on we have carved the world with roads, and destroyed the natural world we need to survive. Our mother earth is sick. We are not killing the planet, we are killing ourselves.

This is De Anza’s legacy to the world. It is disintegrating before our eyes. Preserving this painting is paramount to passing this invaluable teaching tool on to future generations. We must follow the examples of the great leaders depicted in this mural. They’ve shown us there is no freedom without responsibility, and it is our responsibility to save their history for future generations. Their history is our legacy and it must be preserved.

Sublimnalities 7
Sublimnalities in the News
(some links may no longer be online)
"Message from the De Anza Mural Committee", La Voz, 5/1/00
"Student mural celebrated", La Voz, 5/21/01
"Sublimnalities: go see it!", La Voz, 5/21/01
"De Anza students create a mural of life in Silicon Valley", Cupertino Courier, 5/23/01
"Mural unveiled", La Voz, 4/29/08
"Mural unveiled after one year of weather protection", La Voz, 5/5/08
"College officials, others meet to determine fate of damaged 'Subliminalities' mural", La Voz, 10/9/08

Sublimnalities 8 Sublimnalities 9
Sublimnalities 10 Sublimnalities 11 Sublimnalities 12

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Copyright © Erik B. White   Bookmark and Share   We Accept   Bitcoin     last updated: 28 Feb 09