By Carolyn L. Kane
Nowadays, we take without any consideration that our desktop screens—and even our phones—will convey us photos in brilliant complete colour. electronic colour is a primary a part of how we use our units, yet we by no means supply a notion to the way it is produced or the way it got here about.
Chromatic Algorithms finds the interesting background at the back of electronic colour, tracing it from the paintings of some marvelous computing device scientists and experimentally minded artists within the past due Sixties and early ‘70s via to its visual appeal in advertisement software program within the early Nineteen Nineties. blending philosophy of expertise, aesthetics, and media research, Carolyn Kane exhibits how progressive the earliest computer-generated shades were—built with the big postwar number-crunching machines, those first examples of “computer art” have been so amazing that artists and desktop scientists seemed them as psychedelic, even innovative, harbingers of a higher destiny for people and machines. yet, Kane indicates, the explosive progress of non-public computing and its accompanying want for off-the-shelf software program resulted in standardization and the slow ultimate of the experimental box during which desktop artists had thrived.
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Extra resources for Chromatic Algorithms: Synthetic Color, Computer Art, and Aesthetics after Code
A preliminary set of problems arises from the fact that each individual, and group of individuals, sees color differently. Several people may be exposed to the same object — a computer screen, a can of Coke, a translucent earthworm — from the same vantage point and under the same viewing conditions, and yet each will see the object in a unique way. This is because a person’s physiology, history, culture, and memory structure his or her visual perception. Visual responses to color also diversify across language, gender, and ethnic divides.
32 Color is dangerous because it is too potent and attractive, preventing one from turning away from it, yet also essential for life, vitality, and creation. To say that color is a pharmakon is to say that color is and has always been a kind of technology. So while my focus in the following chapters lies with computer-generated color, it is nonetheless crucial to note here that color of any kind is also always a matter of technics. That this has been acknowledged only in certain fields since the Industrial Revolution is beside the point.
Such a view allows pigment-based colors to concurrently act as symbols of pleasure, deception, and deceit. One may show one’s “true colors” in a moment of vulnerability, intimacy, or the expression of raw emotion, but just as easily one may hide behind a mask of colorful makeup and concealer. ”31 Color’s capacity to simultaneously conceal and reveal, or attract and repulse, invokes the ambivalence of the pharmakon. In critical theory the pharmakon is traditionally associated with the Phaedrus, where Socrates aligns it with the then-new technology of writing.