DialoguesTorn Asunder › Introduction

Introduction to Torn Asunder: America Post 9/11

Torn Asunder is an experimental poetry-based video piece that explores the political, generational, ethical and socioeconomic divides which have rocked this country since 9/11 and its aftermath.

In essence, Torn Asunder’s vocal performers, Jeffrey James Skatzka and Pedro Jarquin, used a set of images and a few ground rules given to them by producers Bob Barancik and Dave Puls, to create an interwoven poem, a lamentation of modern American dissonance. They speak to the heart of every young American and socially progressive citizen who feels that the symbolic image of the flag, along with the invocation of God, has been stolen and culturally claimed by the neoconservative right. This creates a sense of distance and estrangement from the message of their own government. With a lonely saxophone ambling in the background, these poets speak of the uncertainty of their futures in an unsupportive environment; a culture that celebrates waste, excess, and dysfunction while ignoring poverty; and the wistful desire to recreate a more utopian reality in the safety of isolation.

In the companion audio interview, the producers of this piece explore yet another divide between themselves and the poets — one made of age, race, social standing, aesthetic and artistic leanings — to create a single piece without trampling either set of voices. An interesting conversation ensues about the meaning of artistic integrity when working with others and the importance of leaving one’s comfort zone in pursuit of honest collaboration.

Subscribe to the CreativeShare mailing list to receive updates:


Back to Digital Dialogues