The White Balance Series
The White Balance Series was inspired by a conversation I had with my grandfather. We were watching the Olympics together, and he brought to my attention the way black skin tones were depicted in the event. He said, "Now look at that guy! You know he's not that dark in real life, but because of the way they make cameras for white people, people of color look much darker than they actually are." The cameras obscure the beauty of our faces.
Cameras have favored white skin tones since the days of film. The white balance standard built into the functionality of cameras, and the ways in which these machines then depict darker complexions, has been a point of contention for decades. A critical analysis of the filters that media technologies place on reality is important when trying to understand the systematic inequalities that exist within the different entertainment and media platforms that we support as a society.
The score is for these films is simple: Sit still in front of any fully charged HD camera until the camera dies. I let the cameras automatically white balance themselves (avoiding any unnecessary post-production adjustments) in an attempt to compare the different image and color qualities of each camera.
My body serves as the constant for this series.