Who is “we”?
Who is “we” consists of colors extracted from two different resources. The background colors (26 colors) comes from the first twenty images when I searched the word “Iran” in Google in early February 2020. Another set of colors is presented upon typing on the keyboard. These colors are extracted from twenty photos I took during my visit to Iran in 2015 and 2018. Each letter key is associated with a color. The colors are assigned to the keys based on the frequency of colors used in the photos and the frequency of letters used in English (e.g. “E” is the most frequently used letter in English and is frequently used in my photos.)
The title of the piece Who is “we” refers to a quote attributed to Marshall McLuhan (media theorist): “We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us”. This piece uses color metaphorically to compare the difference between formal photos one sees of a country and a more personal experience of the same country. It critiques the way a place is being represented in Google searches and the way these images shape one’s understanding of a place. Even though Google Image search offers many tabs to search various images, the first page of the Image Search only shows images from the most current incidents in a country. These images become the first impressions one receives from a place, which in turn shapes one’s understanding of a place. In addition, this piece questions a medium and the people who shape a medium. “We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us”, who is “we”?