A 1987 Garbage Pail Kid card named Jack Splat depicts a crude caricature of legendary painter Jackson Pollock vomiting, in grey scale, upon a stretched canvas at his feet. Although this specific historical reference was likely lost on the consuming demographic, the card’s round-about sentiment of championing the most base form of expressionistic mark-making served to cement this fundamentally existential gesture: to hurl one’s insides out, is not only to “revolt” but to leave a visceral trace of “being.” This trace or stain is reminiscent of what turn-of-the-century spiritualists referred to as ectoplasm: a viscous substance either excreted from a medium’s mouth during trances or found at locations of hauntings. As such, a splash of vomit, albeit typically errant, operates as a circumstantial signature of human presence: so-and-so “was here.” Conversely, it can function as an x-marks-the-spot or a surrogate for the floor-plan lingo: “you are here,” in the way a lone hiker discovers a cleverly stacked pile of rocks along a trail and recognizes that he/she is “somewhere,” or more poignantly somewhere someone has been.
— Ian Cooper, 2010
Ian Cooper was born and raised in New York City and currently lives and works in Red Hook, Brooklyn. He received a B.S. in Studio Art from New York University in 2000.