this work is a self-initiated response to the seemingly endless [and growing] number of police killings of unarmed citizens, and of african-americans in particular.
my intent is to confront the viewer in a visceral way by making an emotional, then rational, appeal. i wanted to remind viewers that these are flesh-and-blood humans, not just images on a newscast or statistics. next i hope to connect the individual first names with the single torso to shift understanding from an individual to multiple people. the viewer sees the list running off the poster, indicating continuation. finally, the viewer can come closer to read the detail text, noting the specifics of the issue – that all of these individuals were unarmed when killed by the police and the details of their killing.
the initial response of viewers is to take a bit of time to decode the poster, assemble the meaning in their minds. then, “that’s powerful” is a typical response, which is of course the aim. the hope is that this human being, this unending list, sticks in their head and that they will act when an opportunity arises.