I’ve been organizing in the studio lately. An old batch of spray paint and a fresh roll of contact paper reminded me to revisit the Stations.
The rationale for designing the “Stations of the Cross: Initial Cycle - Intersection” was based on suppositions about the way the sun would hit a very specific but hypothetical object from its shifting angle over the course of a day. The design could only incorporate the use of the primary colors + black and white. Somehow I figured it out to where it made sense to me. To get there, I related white to the strongest amount of light and black to the least. This led to the use of very specific and problematic language in the studio. As I worked through the way light intensity was represented through the five colors on the object, I kept repeating so as to remind myself: "Black can never be on top and white is never on the bottom."
Of course I was working out the impossible logic here for the way infinite light variations might be represented through five colors for 24 different representations of time in a day. And for that logic within this made-up belief system, those sentiments are one version of true. But I became aware of the mutability of these words and how, in another context, what I was saying reified institutionalized policies and personal implicit and explicit biases that affect real people in concretely negative ways.
“The Black Sequence (Midnight)” is a working title for an iteration of the project that thinks about symbolic interactions and is concerned about the ways that the language we use has a critical impact on the lives of ourselves and others. “The Black Sequence (Midnight)” shifts the hierarchy of the word, location, and color “black” from that of the previous cycle. Now when we speak about the work and its logic (even as personal and idiosyncratic as it may be) our language reflects another possibility, a worldview linguistically antithetical to one dominated by white supremacy.
The work is currently in progress, but I've been getting my hands dirty with it these past few days and wanted to share a bit of the process.