|2012||Bayete Ross Smith,Chris Johnson,Hank Willis Thomas,Kamal Sinclair|
Visit the project
“Question Bridge was created to help release us from stereotypes.”
Hank Willis Thomas, Artist, in Question Bridge: Black Males
In 1996, artist Chris Johnson developed the “question bridge” to facilitate conversation across class and generational divisions in San Diego’s African American community. To create a question bridge, Johnson videotaped an individual asking a question. He then played the taped question for a person who might be able to answer it and recorded his or her response. The respondent also had the opportunity to ask a question, continuing the cycle. Johnson recorded 10 African American men and women to create his exhibition Question Bridge, which premiered at San Diego’s Museum of Photographic Arts.
Years later, artist Hank Willis Thomas collaborated with Johnson to reuse the question bridge method, focusing exclusively on African American men. With collaborators Bayeté Ross Smith and Kamal Sinclair, Thomas and Johnson gathered over 1,600 questions and answers with 160 individuals. Their 5-channel video installation Question Bridge: Black Males screened at the Sundance Film Festival and the Brooklyn Museum. Many of the Question Bridge interviews are available online, and the team is developing a robust interactive HTML5 website with a lean mobile app on iOS and Android that will both facilitate a dialogue among African American men and produce the first-ever group-generated data visualization of an identity map. They envision Question Bridge as a platform that can facilitate question-and-answer dialogues within a variety of communities.