Ruscha's expansive canvases with their superimposed text are often associated with conceptions of West Coast landscapes as well as allusion to film and Hollywood's golden age. Though the cinematic scale is still in effect with Industrial Strength Sleep, for this project Ruscha wanted to return to an earlier work that seemed both an appropriate fit for debut in Philadelphia and for revisiting via the process of weaving. He conjured notions of East Coast industry in its mid-20th Century prime and landscapes once dotted with factories, much of which is now neglected or has vanished as a result of gentrification.
In addition, the piece itself is quite literally the industrial product of a modern business that has integrated computer-assisted weaving technology with traditional aesthetics of the medium. No longer just a luxury ornament and symbol of princely power commissioned by European royalty, contemporary artists have embraced tapestry as another means for expanding the possibilities of their creative output. With this collaboration, Ed Ruscha and FWM have put themselves at the forefront of this constantly growing trend.