“Protest Signs: Projected Voices in the Community”

Making a sign, marching at a protest, or wheat pasting a series of fliers in public is an act of saying, “HEAR MY VOICE!” That outward act of bravery symbolizes that you count, and bystanders should take notice, look inside themselves, and hear your voice resonate in their conscious.
I specifically chose an AI tool called a generative adversarial network (GAN) to create this work and bring awareness to injustices I see in the community around me. This tool assembles thousands of images of all races in various facial combinations, blending races or a selection of races and morphing the images into one unified face or person.
The individuals in these signs I created do not exist in real life. They are an amalgam of who we are, a reflection of the face we might see or befriend in our collective community. A sign doesn’t ask much of its spectator, mere seconds of attention, but will that engagement’s impact allow them to carry the banner? Will this spectator work toward building a world less hateful and more hopeful with fewer judgments?

“Protest Signs: Projected Voices in the Community” is a juried exhibition by Dr. Travis Williams, a sociology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Dr. Williams is full-time teaching faculty in the Department of Sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds a doctorate in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and served as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Science & Technology in Society at Virginia Tech from 2012 to 2014. His research areas include Environmental Racism, Racial Capitalism, Risk Society, Social Movements, and Non-profit Industrial Complex.

The exhibition is in the CAB Art Gallery and continues onto the second floor of the CAB Building. ⠀⠀
Exhibiting artists include: ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Anna VA Polesny, Rita Alves, Karen Anderson, Arya Badiyan, Jasmyn Bines, Linda Bond, Janet Braun-Reinitz, Alisa Clark, Dawn Colsia, Stephen Da Lay, Dennis Darkeem, Keara Douglas, Alex Fernandez, Ann Flaherty, Mark Flake, Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez, Jacquie Germanow, Sheila Goloborotko, Lindsey Morrison, Jean-Marie Guyaux, Heather Heckel, Robbin Henderson, Drew Hires, Ed Holten, Kevin Hubbard, F. Geoffrey Johnson, Emily Keown, Susan Lenz, George Lorio, Jeanne Marklin, Paul McMahon, Meridith McNeal, Jo-Ann Morgan, Charles Moses, Yejung Park, Gene Provenzo, David Reibman, Ken Rinaldo, Richard Schramm, Denise Shaw, Wendy Starn, Jose D. Trejo-Maya, Toya Wallace, Stephanie Wingate, Doug Winter, Kathleen Zeifang.

protest sign in yellow and black reads projected voices in the community.

Exhibition Location: University of North Carolina Wilmington 5270 Randall Dr, Wilmington, NC 28403

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