cognitive equity

Lorna Roth proposes her original concept of “cognitive equity” – this is a notion of cultural and racial equity that does not revolve around legislation, statistics and access to institutions, but rather is an intelligent strategy for creating and promoting equity by inscribing a wider dynamic-range or continuum of skin tones into common products, visual technologies, and design practices. Too often these colour biases have been invisible in multicultural and multiracial societies. However, with The Colour Balance Project, Roth presents us with the material evidence of her extensive research into these biases and their perpetuation through visual technologies and design practices. By raising our awareness of these biases in mass-produced goods and mass media, Roth encourages us to move towards the development of cognitive equity and colour balance in our design choices and social practices.

About “cognitive equity,” Reesa Greenberg, independent curator and scholar has noted: Lorna Roth’s notion of cognitive equity refers to “a state where stereotypes, however unconscious, have been eliminated from the moment of inscription, so that they are no longer repeated.” (Reesa Greenberg. ‘Remembering Exhibitions’: From Point to Line to Web. Tate Papers (Autumn 2009).

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