Mariafe walking on the streets of Sanford,

Mariafe SanchezHakan Topal Art&Technology12/14/2017Black Lives Matter     In February 26, 2012 a 17 year old African-American teenager, high school student Trayvon Martin was killed by a neighborhood watch, administered by the local police department, George Zimmerman. Trayvon was walking on the streets of Sanford, Florida, in a gated community, where he was at the time visiting his relatives, which was an area that had dozens of reports for people trying to break in and this had created an atmosphere of fear. The police got to the area of the incident minutes after Trayvon was killed. George Zimmerman was acquitted for the murder, because there was no evidence that what he did was not an act of self defense. Meanwhile, Zimmerman had passed incidents with the law, including his wife’s restraining order against him, and Trayvon was never armed.     In July 13, 2013, after Trayvon’s death, an international activist movement began. This movement is called Black Lives Matter, which started on social media with the use of a hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. Black Lives Matter is a human rights movement that challenges the systematic racism in every racial context and fights violence against the black community, it is originated in the African-American community, but it speaks out against many issues like racial inequality, police brutality and racial stereotypes, which are not things that only happen in America, but around the whole world.     After Trayvon Martin, there has been many other African-American deaths like Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, August 9th, 2014 shot by police officer Darren Wilson, and Eric Garner who died from a choke hold while getting arrested by multiple police officers on July 17, 2014 in Staten Island, New York City. The day after Michael Brown’s death there was a protest called “Ferguson unrest” which fought against police abuse of authority against African-Americans, because of the many deaths that have happened while under police custody or just by police officers.    Black Lives Matter is co-founded by three black women, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. Everything started after the acquittal of George Zimmerman, when Garza used facebook to communicate that she loves black people, her people, and that their lives matter, too. Then this was followed by Patrisse Cullors who shared Garza’s facebook post, and added the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter. After this happened, the organization starting spreading in the social media and gaining many followers, and public attention.     After the movement BLM started, other movements starting emerging in response to Black Lives Matter, “All Lives Matter” and “Blue Lives Matter” were two of them. All Lives Matter was a movement that started by criticizing BLM by saying that it excludes many kinds of people, including police officers for this matter. Blue Lives Matter started in 2014 and was created to help law enforcement officers and their families. But these two movements that came out in contradiction of the BLM movement totally missed the point of the movement.     In 2016,  Josh Eidelson interviewed Alicia Garza. In this interview she was asked about the misconceptions that people could have about the BLM movement, her answer was that people think that the movement is only about black people and that they only care about them. But people that are in this movement all know that all lives matter, but this is not being portrait by people in the world. The quality of living that a lot of black people live in in America are very similar to the ones in other parts of the country, making this a bigger deal, a bigger issue that they want to approach. Basically that the organization’s goal is to make sure that black lives matter, too. The world is on a range between black to white, making black being the root of the racial problems, and that is why they are more focused on African-Americans, because once they are free of all of these stereotypes, racism, and disadvantages against them, everyone else will follow, giving us all equality. But they don’t just talk about equality between races, but also intersectionality too, which includes: black women,black people with a record, illegals or undocumented people, queer, transgenders, and just people overall. This is a very important part of the movement because, all three founders are black women, two of them (Garza and Cullors) identify themselves as queer, and Garza’s spouse is an interracial transgender.       Patrisse Cullors is an activist and an artist who co-founded a movement in 2013 with a hashtag, since then the organization grew internationally, now having many chapters and thousands of people around the world fighting against black racism. As an artist, Patrisse made a piece called HateisHateisHate which shows the challenges black people face in this world of white supremacy. This piece consists on an interactive installation where people listened to  Patrisse Cullors’ voice giving instructions of what to do with the material given (42 pages of hate mail, scissors, paint brushes, glue and butcher paper on the walls of the room) and also listen to violent racist messages . People were asked to pick up the scissors, pick up the paper, to cut words  and statements from the paper, pick up the paint brush, deep it into the glue and paste the words onto the butcher paper, and to continue doing this until you have pasted all the words onto the butcher paper. The racist messages that people could hear at this installation showed a lot of hatred against the BLM movement and black people in general. A lot of people in this world believe that racism doesn’t exist anymore and what Patrisse wants to show with this piece is that these people are wrong and racist people and racism are still something that goes on in this world, and to what extent it goes to.      Another of Patrisse’s work was the performance “Remembering ’92” at the California African American Museum, where she walks around the exhibition No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992. The performance happened for the final program, before the show’s closing weekend. “Remembering ’92” was a tribute for deaths in 1992 LA uprising, and also for all the black people who were brutally killed by the police.     Patrisse Cullors has also written a book, “Call you a terrorist: A black lives matter memoir”,  which is coming out January 16, 2018. In this book she talks about how the leaders of Black Lives Matter have been called terrorists and even a threat to America, but she explains that they are just loving women, whose experiences have led them to fighting to find justice for them and for other people like them.      In 2016, Adam Pendleton an African-American conceptual artist who is known for his multidisciplinary art, presented his largest solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland called, Becoming Imperceptible. This exhibition goes back to black history and how our understanding of it impacts the present and our ability to change. It explores blackness and looks at it as something that can be so many thing at the same time, like an idea, a method, an identity, a color, and a political movement. This exhibition includes wall paintings, ceramics, film, silkscreens, an others, but everything in just black and white. He also used previews works that he reframed or reconditioned for Becoming Imperceptible. The word that he uses on the title “imperceptible” means impossible to perceive. He wanted the exhibition to not have an immediate representation, and by this becoming imperceptible could mean opening a door to a new understanding of this blackness, which could be the way that people would actually start seeing blackness with a different concept, a new one.      Open Casket is a painting by Dana Schutz of a portrait of Emmett Till. Emmett was a fourteen year old African-American who died in 1955, Mississippi. He was brutally lynched just because a white woman said she was offended by him. The killers were never charged for the his death. Dana is a white American artist. She painted Open Casket in August 2016 and this was shown at the Whitney Biennial in 2017. This painting drew a lot of attention from people that wanted it removed from the museum and destroyed. This painting is based on a photograph of the boys mutilated body at his funeral. Emmett Till’s mother insisted she wanted to have the casket open at her son’s funeral so people could see the reality of American racism. She painted this portrait in response of racism against black people by the police, and to show that this is not a recent problem, but it has happened in the passed, and it is still happening in the present.      A book called, “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation”, written by African-American activist Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor was published in 2016. This book talks about the illusion of post racial America. It talks about how we are still living in a racist world and that equality between all is false. Through different surveys, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor shows how racism and structural inequality towards black people is still an issue in this world. Black Lives Matter in an activist movement that has put together so many people to fight for a same cause, and which builds the path for Black liberation, which is the main goal.     Many artist have done work after the movement Black Lives Matter started, but there were also many artists that expressed all these racial issues through their art, even before the movement started, because BLM consists of multiple issues that the world has been carrying on for many years. Mendi and Keith Obadike are two African-American artists who did work related to black lives. One of their projects was in August 2001 when Keith Obadike’s blackness was put for sell on ebay. The buyer would receive a certificate. This certificate had benefits and warnings, in between these, if you bought the blackness, some of the benefits were that you could use this blackness to make jokes about black people, to write essays about black people, etc, and some of the warnings were to not use it for most legal stuff, in between other things. After four days, this auctiontion was closed because it was considered inappropriate. The auction got a total of 12 bids, reaching a prize of $152.50.      Another one of Mendi+Keith Obadike’s works was Compass Song. It was an app-based public sound artwork. This app worked in Times Square and the voice was always underscored by a drone, which by taking the latitude and longitude data of the phone would sonified unique harmonies. You could also hear a voice sometimes reciting poems about freedom and stories of what happened in the location. It also has parts of the song “Walk with Me”, which is the African-American Civil Rights freedom song. This project involves technology with the history of an specific area in New York City, related to black lives.     Black Lives Matter is a very important movement that has not been going on for too long (only four years), meanwhile the issues the movement addresses have been going on for decades. Many artists have used different means to give a message, from paintings, to apps, to auctions, to installations, and even books. Some artists used technology and other not really. So, how is this movement related to technology? And the answer is that, the whole movement started with technology, with social media, with a simple post on facebook, which grew bigger and bigger by using different social media means, like facebook, twitter, tumblr,and many others, and through social media is that this movement became international and gathered so many people around the world to fight for an equal cause, to make black lives matter. Work cited 1.  Eidelson, Josh. “Alicia Garza, Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter.” Bloomberg Businessweek, no. 4486, 2016, p. 52. EBSCOhost, ezproxy.purchase.edu:2048/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.462199323&site=eds-live. 2. Black Lives Matter, blacklivesmatter.com/about/.3.”An Interview with the Founders of Black Lives Matter.” Oct. 2016, www.ted.com/talks/alicia_garza_patrisse_cullors_and_opal_tometi_an_interview_with_the_founders_of_black_lives_matter#t-86840. October 2016 at TEDWomen 20164.Cullors, Patrisse. “Art.” Patrisse Cullors, patrissecullors.com/art/.5. “A Black Lives Matter Co-Founder Channels the Pain of LA’s 1992 Uprising.” Hyperallergic. N.p., 25 Aug. 2017. Web. 14 Dec. 2017.6.”Adam Pendleton Examines the Multiplicity of Blackness.”Hyperallergic. N.p., 02 May 2017. Web. 14 Dec. 2017.7. Goldstein, Andrew. “A Whitney Biennial Curator Defends Dana Schutz’s Painting.”Artnet News, Artnet News, 31 Mar. 2017, news.artnet.com/art-world/whitney-biennial-christopher-lew-dana-schutz-906557. Accessed 14 Dec. 2017.8. Boucher, Brian. “Dana Schutz Responds to Whitney Biennial Controversy.” Artnet News. Artnet News, 23 Mar. 2017. Web. 14 Dec. 2017.9. “About.” Mendi + Keith Obadike, obadike.squarespace.com/about/.10. EBay Item 1176601036(Ends Aug-18-01 16:08:53 PDT) – Keith Obadike’s Blackness, archive.rhizome.org/anthology/blacknetart/ebay.html.11. “Work.” Mendi + Keith Obadike, obadike.squarespace.com/#/compasssong/.12. TEDxTalks. “From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation | Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor | TEDxBaltimore.” YouTube, YouTube, 2 Feb. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyE5nI1nRJI.

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