The Meaning of Flash2Flash and the Origin of Origination Unknown: Texts and Concept Maps for Eight Adolescent Works of Religious Imagination

Cover art for The Meaning of Flash2Flash and the Origin of Origination Unknown: Texts and Concepts Maps for Eight Adolescent Works of Religious Imagination

July 9, 2018

The Meaning of Flash2Flash and the Origin of Origination Unknown: Texts and Concepts Maps for Eight Adolescent Works of Religious Imagination is a writing project focusing on evaluating creativity and perseverance within adolescent religious imagination. The project stems from lyrics I wrote while in the band Flash2Flash (2003 - 2008), which spanned during my late teens to early twenties. These lyrics were symbols of my Christian faith and experience of life at that time. The writing project will be a deconstruction of these lyrics through a process of concept mapping and connection to relevant texts.

Flash2Flash ended in 2008 and it has been 10 years since we released the full length album Origination Unknown. In celebration of these 10 years I’ve teamed up with former bandmate Justin Bulava to commemorate some of the band’s work. Justin has his own release coinciding with the anniversary of the album, which is an experimental audio experience focused on one of the band’s darker songs called, “Rape Kit”. I would like to thank him for taking the time and effort to remember both Flash2Flash and Origination Unknown.

This writing project seeks to activate or possibly even reactivate your personal religious imagination and open a dialogue about the intersection of religious faith and adolescence, which can bear unexpected outcomes in a person's life. On a personal level I hope it provides clarity for myself concerning the concepts I developed within a very special band during very critical years of my personal development.

Below are the eight lyric titles/themes for this writing project:

Electricity | Fuel Us

It Blows Inside Me

We Will Not (no fantasy)

White Girl Fantasies

Black Daughter (my baby girl)

Sugar, Water, Minerals


Origination Unknown

Below is Justin Bulava’s experimental audio experience created for the 10th anniversary of the album "Origination Unknown" by Flash2Flash. The piece is based on an audio sample of a moment before a rehearsal recording of the Flash2Flash song "Rape Kit." This work is in solidarity with the organization


Approaching “The Meaning of Flash2Flash”: Introductory Concept Definition Map & Texts

Click on the image for a full view of the concept map,  Approaching “The Meaning of Flash2Flash”.

Click on the image for a full view of the concept map, Approaching “The Meaning of Flash2Flash”.

September 25, 2018


1. (Main Concept “general idea to focus on”) Approaching “The Meaning of Flash2Flash” ——————> (Category “a larger idea or umbrella for the main concept”) “My thought life”/patterns of thought ————> (Related Concepts “comparable to the main concept”) Christian faith, religious imagination, adolescence

To me Flash2Flash represented the beliefs I had about my daily thought patterns. This was related to my Christian faith, religious imagination and my experience of adolescence where my daily thoughts were like sudden bursts of images, feelings and reflections.

The category and related concepts for this main concept provides context to my personal way of thinking. One can think of Flash2Flash a concept in service to Christian faith, religious imagination and adolescence, as it seeks to better understand these larger areas and find its place amongst them.

2. (Main Concept) - Approaching “The Meaning of Flash2Flash” ——————> (Examples “expressions of the main concept”) - My prayer/poem journals from ages 12 - 25, a three member rock band from 2003 - 2008 (for which I was a member), and my autobiographical non-linear reading/interpretation of the Bible

These examples of Flash2Flash are more tangible and accessible items for understanding the main concept. These examples or “expressions of the main concept” will be shared throughout this writing project. What is most important about these examples is that they also may exist in other peoples’ lives, providing a place for more easily connecting to this writing project. Some of you may have also saved your adolescent journals or were in a rock band for a short period, or have an experience reading a religious text for several years like the Bible both autobiographically and non-linearly.

3. (Main Concept) - Approaching “The Meaning of Flash2Flash”——————-> (Properties “important information which explains the main concept”) My being influenced by the music of Project 86, Dynamics of Faith by Paul Tillich , Flash2Flash’s (the band’s) performances and relationships with various New Jersey churches and the three New Jersey locations of Piscataway/New Brunswick/Hillsborough where Flash2Flash’s (the band’s) music was rehearsed and performed.

This list of properties point to the finer points of Flash2Flash, especially concerning how it emulated other main concepts around it. In other words, Flash2Flash wasn’t an original main concept and had strong outside influencers. From my vantage point, my affinities for the music of Project 86 and the the theology of Paul Tillich influenced what I wrote lyrically in the band. These were lyrics mostly about finding spiritual discipline feeling on the periphery of relational groups. Flash2Flash sometimes performed in Christian churches due to the religious affiliations of two of its three members (myself being one of those two). This was a very interesting aspect of the band that will be discussed later on in this work.

The New Jersey locations of Piscataway, New Brunswick (Rutgers University) and Hillsborough were all places in close proximity to each other and represented the hometown statuses and college attendance of its members. To me these locations were a triangle of locations where I would write about and explore my spirituality musically as I tried to make sense of the communities I felt on the outside of during those years.

The image below may aid your understanding of this writing project and can be set against the above concept definition map and its explanations. I won’t say anything about what may have been the artist’s intent with this image, but I am personally interested in how this image may assist interpretation of the Flash2Flash concept.

After some personal reflection I will decide whether to enter into analysis of the selected song lyrics or provide another introductory concept definition map to lay more ground work. This potential second introductory concept map is tentatively titled, Approaching “The Origin of Origination of Unknown”.

Cover art of Flash2Flash Acoustic EP, 2006.


Approaching the “Origin of Origination Unknown”: Introductory Concept Definition Map

July 25, 2019

Click on the image for a full view of the concept map,  Approaching “The Origin of Origination Unknown”.

Click on the image for a full view of the concept map, Approaching “The Origin of Origination Unknown”.

1) Main Concept -”The Origin of Origination Unknown” is a concept at the heart of the band Flash2Flash. Origination Unknown was the band’s first and only full length studio album released in 2008.

2) Category - Genesis 1:2 establishes a way forward for interpreting the issues addressed in the Origination Unknown album. It is important to read all of Genesis chapter 1, which contextualizes the album’s relationship to this Biblical passage. My choice to select Genesis 1:2 as a way forward for interpretation, is an act of post-reflection as opposed to being part of the creation of the Origination Unknown album.

3) Related Concept - “What comes first, the chicken or the egg?” is an important related concept which allows this concept map to be more of a universal inquiry. Go here to read more about this ancient question related to the process of life.

4) Examples

My Dear Jeffrey & Questions Without Answers” is a non-Flash2Flash project stemming from my artistic life after the band ended in 2008. I’ve included this track in the concept map because it is useful for post-reflection on the “Origin of Origination Unknown” main concept.

The excerpts from the meditation text, “Questions Without Answers” by Harry James Cargas within the track’s description are useful for considering one’s purpose and meaning in life. Lyrically, Flash2Flash’s music was largely about trying to understand the purpose and meaning of life from a Christian adolescent point of view.


This album art for the Origination Unknown album was created by Jason Alejandro. I believe this example of the “Origin of the Origination Unknown” concept is the most relatable out of all the examples. As a piece of visual art it creates a powerful visual experience of “origin” and “the unknown”, which can be discussed by viewers.


This live performance of “Origination Unknown” features some of my public discourse connecting the song to Christian faith and ministry. Sonically, the song points to the 5) Properties described in the concept map, which are darkness, sadness, and desire/sexuality. These properties express the mood of “The Origin of Origination of Unknown” main concept and will be addressed again in the analysis of the eight lyrical themes/titles for this ongoing writing project.