Tuesday, September 17, 2013

rainbow spectrum

i've been publishing rainbow accordions since february of this year (2013).

these start with my photo of a rainbow. i make a series of copies of this photo, with each new image 10 degrees further along the “hue” spectrum (as defined by photoshop) from the prior image, repeating this process through the 360 degree hue spectrum (as defined by photoshop), with the final image 10 degrees on the hue spectrum from the original image (thus making a loop). i line these images up in sequence to create a 72-page, accordion fold, zine that flips through the spectrum of colors of the rainbow and returns to the original photo.

i also made a parallel work using a drawing of a rainbow as the starting point.

in making these works, which are meditations on color, i was aware of Tauba Auerbach's amazing rgb colorspace atlas.

i was also aware of Cory Arcangel's amazing Photoshop Gradient Demonstrations - which mine photoshop to make beautiful color works & are also open source (the title describing how to make the work).

i thought of my rainbow hue variations as related to these works - starting with a photo of a rainbow, mining photoshop, creating a zine that travels through the color spectrum, with sufficient information as to how the work was made to be open source. while working on my zine, i discovered the unique slinky/flipbook action possible with small, many paged, accordion-fold books and decided on this format given how beautifully this form matched function. it also felt like i was taking the work in a new direction from the above references.

since i started publishing these, i've been looking for other precedents for this work. this blog includes my findings thus far:

Sol Lewitt's Four Basic Kinds of Lines and Colour (1969/1971). this work includes an index and a system for combining a variety of lines, and colors, to make images. the resulting book flips through a spectrum of colors and is open source (describing how the work was made).

(Printed Matter has more about this work here)

Paul Heimbach's die Farbe und nichts als die Farbe (1998) (google translates the title to 'the color and nothing but the color'). this work is comprised of two small books. one book includes three color films (cyan, magenta & yellow) that are made with a gradient of the color from one edge of the film (with no color) to the other edge (with dense color) and an index showing images created by overlapping the color films and the system for making these.
Paul Heimbach book detail
the second book contains larger prints of the images shown in the index that were created with this system.

some of the results look like Cory Arcangel's photoshop gradients, only generated with analog technologies, and given the index, film, and detailed system described in these books, they are also open source. (Printed Matter has more about this work here)

Olaf Nicolai's Untitled [Considering a Multiplicity of Appearances in Light of a Particular Aspect or Relevance. Or: Can Art Be Concrete?] (2007). this book is filled with vibrant color gradients & the book cover unfolds to display the color spectrum.

(Printed Matter has more about this work here, noting that this work was first created as a takeaway from a room installation by Nicolai.)

Gary Robbins' Recordings (2011?). in looking through the exhibitor list for the 2013 New York Art Book Fair, i noticed that Container Corps has a series of books by Gary Robbins, called recordings, and some of these also appear to flip through the color spectrum (i don't know much about these works).

thus far, i haven't come across any books designed to match the accordion/slinky/flipbook form. the closest i have found are Japanese Buddhist prayer books that may be played in a parallel manner (and i do not know much about these).

please share if you have additional references.