American Artist
(American, b. 1989)

Sandy Speaks, 2016
A.I. chat application
Originally commissioned by Newhive.com

American Artist, screenshot of Sandy Speaks, 2016.
American Artist, screenshot of Sandy Speaks, 2016.
American Artist, screenshot of Sandy Speaks, 2016.

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About Sandy Speaks

American Artist’s online chatbot Sandy Speaks is inspired by the legacy of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African American woman who was found dead in a jail cell in Waller, Texas, on July 13, 2015—three days after being pulled over and arrested for a minor traffic violation. While her death was ruled a suicide, a grassroots movement coalesced to cast doubt on the official account. Those involved demanded to know: What happened to Sandra Bland? Users can ask the bot a limited range of questions related to Bland’s death and American policing. The work’s title is taken from a series of videos Bland posted online in the months preceding her death, which touch on politicized issues such as police brutality and mass incarceration.

Tip for interacting: Try asking, who are you? What's your relationship to Sandra? What can you tell me about prison? What can you tell me about prison surveillance? What do you know about Sandra? Who is Sandra? What happened to Sandra? What happened to Sandra in jail? Why do people get arrested? What is a felony? What is a misdemeanor? What is prison? What is jail? What's the difference between jail and prison? How many prisons are there? Who is in jail? What age are inmates? How many people are in jail that aren't convicted? Why are people in jail that aren’t convicted? How many people die in prison? How do I know if I'm arrested? How do I know if I'm detained? How do I know if I'm free to go? What does convicted mean? What does arrested mean? What does charged mean? What does detained mean? What does incarcerated mean? What should I do if I get arrested? Where did you get this info from? What is Black Lives Matter? What is racial discrimination? What is police brutality? Am I required to put out my cigarette if I get pulled over? What are my rights if I get arrested? Can I film police?

Special thanks to Angelina Bethoney.