In this pair of live performances, Nance googles the phrase "one-year-old black boy" and "one-year-old black girl," ascending in age to 18, and allows Google's "popular searches" algorithm to populate what words will follow. He then peruses the results based on what Google assumes a search for a black boy or girl is.
As with each gaze into the mirror, each performance is unique, and the results are surprising, sobering, and often provocative. The liveness and sequential nature of the performances both parallels and simulates the experience of observing somebody age over time. The degree to which small differences in search terms result in radically different results and attitudes exposes the precarious position that black children find themselves in throughout their lives. As the searches progress in age, the viewer bears witness to the shifting attitudes towards black children of different ages and the increasing degree to which criminal behavior is attached to the search terms.
Terence Nance is an artist born and raised in Dallas, Texas. He comes from a family of artists and artsy types. He made the films An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (2012 Sundance Film Festival) and Swimming in Your Skin Again (2016 Sundance Film Festival). He also makes music, and installations, and friendships. Terence currently resides in Bed Stuy, but that might not last too long because the rent is too damn high.