18 Black Girls / Boys Ages 1-18 Who Have Arrived at the Singularity and Are Thus Spiritual Machines: $X in an Edition of $97 Quadrillion

Director: Terence Nance
Screenwriters: Terence Nance

Institute History

  • 2017 Sundance Film Festival


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.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details


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