“Misundersthood” is an interactive installation hoodie/narrative that addresses the issue of police brutality. Users will be instructed to place on a hooded sweatshirt (hoodie). Once the hood is flipped up, an audio clip will play. Users will then hear a story about a young black boy’s encounter with a police officer. This piece aims to spark both an inner and outer dialogue with users and the public about the issue at hand. This project was inspired by an actual encounter I had with a police officer when I was thirteen years old.
In this week I thought through how the placing on the hood of the sweat shirt would activate the sensor.
Thinks to think about:
- What is the threshold of the sensor, when hood is off and when hood is on
- What will be the best place to place the flex sensor
- how can I embed headphones within the hood.
In thinking about the audio piece, I found myself questioning should I include the sound effects and would they add to the feeling of immersion.
For example, In the narrative I talk about about the police pulling up next to me. I am considering including the sounds of the engine.
I believe there is something important in telling personal narratives. And I wish to include my narrative in this piece. When I was in the seventh grade, I’d gotten stopped by a police officer. I will never forget the way it happened. I had just bought some candy from the store and was riding home on my bike. Shortly after I turned the corner on which the street I lived, a whit police officer pulled up next to me, demanding that I get off my bike. I hadn’t done anything. Eventually after refusing to do so, she aggressively yelled for me to do so again. I stood on the curve with my hands behind my head, she frisked me. I don’t remember much after that.
My story ended with me being able to go home. But, it very well could have had a different ending. So this project aims to highlight my story as well as the very possible turn that could have occurred.
I have spent the past week trying to figure out what narrative I wish to portray.
The idea change a bit and I realize that too often, the same stories are told. So, I wanted to tell a less known story. I am still trying to figure out whose story I wish to tell.
I have also gained inspiration from the lunch counter exhibit at The Center for Human Rights in Atlanta, GA. Below are images from this exhibit.
The idea I had was to a person to stand in front of a hoodie which would have a monitor embedded in the face of it. As the viewer looked into the hood the would see their own reflection. Then the face of a young black boy would appear and he would tell the story of how his life was taken from him.
Dream: To allow people to walk one day in the shoes of a black person. Providing them with the insight to our lives, the beautiful and hardships.
Vision: Create an entire body of work around hoodies and what they symbolize when placed on the black male.
Goal: Project idea: ” Hooded” (a tentative name)
As a storyteller, I am always trying to figure out how to play a viewer in someone else’s shoes. The idea I have is to create an installation piece that highlights an aspect of the black male experience, wearing a hoodie. When this garment is placed on the black body what transformation occurs? Often, such men are criminalized and stripped of their humanity. Media portrayal has shaped this narrative.
I wish to highlight and challenge these notions. From a historical standpoint, I want to understand the process of being hooded (of placing on a hood). Imagine walking into a room and you see a hoodie dangling from a ceiling by wires. It is positioned in the center of the room. And as you approach the hoodie you are instructed (either through visuals or audio) to put on the piece of clothing. So you unhook the jacket from the wires and place it on. When you flip the hood up onto you head you are then taken taken down a journey about someone who lost their life due to racial injustice. Embedded within the hoodie are headphones that will play the audio and there are sensors that can detect the hoodie is place on your head.
Here is a sketch of the hoodie with the headphones.