Little Cube

Creator: Augusto Mota Pinheiro
Start Date: 09/11/2019
End Date: 25/11/2019
Medium: Blender

This is an amended version of my "Critical Reflection: The Damage of Bias on our Connected Hearts" paper.

For my first humanities class Knowledge with New School at Dawson, I was exploring the topic of bias in a relationship and what are the immediate and long-term consequences of our actions influenced by our own biases. In class we saw how our actions can have deep repercussions in our relationships and in our social lives, like the example of the black police officer, Omar Edwards, shot by a fellow officer, in Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People (Banaji et al. 12). So, my goal with this animation is to demonstrate how these mindbugs can affect anyone and everyone in a deeper way that most of us imagine or want to.

The clip starts off by presenting the protagonist of the story: little cube; and as we will eventually notice, he’s visually different from the other cubes each named big cube. The camera goes over to the factory where they all work, and we can see everyone doing the exact same thing at the exact same speed. The break bell then rings and the camera switches to the break room, where everyone pops up (it’s their way of moving vertically) and little cube comes in a bit later. When he does, everyone else turns to him and starts to criticize everything about him. Notice how not everyone is using words (when the illuminated side becomes pixelated they are talking and the glow represents their feelings), but are all sending a message in his regard. We are then taken inside little cube’s emotions and we can see his heart and his name slowly fade out…

Of course, I am representing an extreme case as it is not everyone that is affected in this way by stereotypes and biases of others, but it does happen. We can't forget that not every biased action is directly perceived, but I wanted to demonstrate a clear example so that everyone watching the video could easily understand its message. It is also the reason why I chose to represent “people” as cubes, so that it could be transposed to real life scenarios and experiences, without giving the characters a defining human characteristic except for their emotions. I also need to point out that biased actions don’t necessarily come from physical disparities, in fact “[a]ge, gender, religion, class, sexuality, disability, physical attractiveness, profession, and personality are only a few examples” (Banaji et al. 12) of where our stereotypes and mindbugs may come from. Once again, I chose to represent a bias coming from a physical disparity as it would be easier to show the source of the bias, therefore see the damage that it can cause.

Banaji, Mahzarin R., and Anthony G. Greenwald. Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People. 2016.