The Gradient of Humanity

This project was conceptualized over coffee during a conversation about region versus race.  I was struck while making a point about skin tone, that it is simply the same genetic structure presenting in different form, and how very beautiful it is.

I wanted to show this to the world.  Look at what humanity really is.  Unavoidably, this project became about race.  Featured in several articles across Michigan, I admitted to reviewers and reporters that the project stalled several months before its presentation due to the discomfort I began to feel.  In order to complete the project, I had to racially profile friends and family members.  I had to resolve my inner conflicts before I could finish the work.

The Gradient of Humanity was a perfect fit for me.  It used my background in Anthropology in analyzing and representing our diversity while also finding the best language to describe its message to both viewers and participants.  The project also utilized my skills in photography and graphic design to bring it together.  Finally, I enjoyed the opportunity to, again, gently pressure viewers comfort zones and provide an opportunity to reconsider their preconceptions.

Concepts included building out the website as a scalable social experiment wherein anyone interested could upload their photograph, location, and why the project interested them.  Users would be able to scroll in 3D motion experience to drive home the point that the difference between skin tones is virtually undetectable at each stage.

Printed on 15′ x 3′ vinyl and installed at Boardwalk Condominiums during ArtPrize 2014.