Binary thinking is seeing in low resolution

April 2021

Shower Thought

A little sketch of this has been on a post-it on my wall for half a year. I figured I should actually develop it a little more.

I was thinking about the struggle of figuring out how to describe oneself. We all know ourselves as complex beings but when we have to find the words to identify ourselves we often have to shove ourselves into the “most similar” box we can find.

People whom we have close relationships to have a pretty good understanding of ourselves and the more distant someone is to us, the less they understand us. A stranger will probably describe us through the roughest identity categories they can squeeze you in. So in a way, those who are closest have a high resolution image of us and those who are distant have a low resolution image.

Eventually the lowest resolution situates identity in binary- male/female, white/racialised, good/bad. I made a couple of animations to express this: one greyscale and one in colour. I don’t think these thoughts are very resolved at the moment. But I just wanted to put it out there.