The project is a simple processing tool that presents a few images of “black” people. The instructions say: “pick out the black,” even this very verbiage will cause some discomfort. With your mouse, as your scroll over these pictures the RGB vaules are picked out and the color is displayed in a box. Roll your mouse over a cheek of one of these people and see what color you get.
Simply put, with this project I am asking the question: what is blackness, what does blackness look like, and all the other racial inquiries that arise out of such an engagement.
Also this passage from wikipedia is placed right atop the image, but the opacity is tinkered with so that even further investigation and probing is necessary to read the text. This is an act that requires the user to make an effort. How many people will make this effort?
Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_people
“The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups. Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as “black”, and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a role so that relatively dark skinned people can be classified as white if they fulfill other social criteria of whiteness and relatively light skinned people can be classified as black if they fulfill the social criteria for blackness. As a biological phenotype being “black” is often associated with the very dark skin colors of some people who are classified as ‘black’. But, particularly in the United States, the racial classification also refers to people with all possible kinds of skin pigmentation from the darkest through to the very lightest skin colors, including albinos, if they are believed by others to have African ancestry and exhibit cultural traits associated with being “African-American”. Therefore, the term ‘black people’ is not an indicator of skin color but of racial classification.”
Why am I asking this? Because we live in a contury with a strong racial “element,” woven within the seams of its very being.
The constraints I choose were color, and having each project illuminate or evoke some idea or issue around social justice. Also I am constraining myself to have these projects flesh out or articulate ideas explored in my Afrofuturism class. I choose these constraints because these are the ideas and themes that I will be exploring in my artistic practice and very heavily in the work that I intend to create within the frames of this program. They are very closely related to the themeatic aesthetic that I want to hone and explore.