Publication Spring 2015
Edited by Scott Lyall and Christine Davis
Before the most primitive dyes could be developed – before ink – there must have been colouring agents. There must have been wonder as colour saturated the tissue for thought. There could never be grey matter (as Marcel Duchamp described it).
But is it really still possible to wonder about colour? Does colour still empower and give significance to the world? Does colour command emotion, creativity – even a soul – in ways that liberate productive energies, conscious thought, and forceful signs? How does colour record the who and what of our epoch, and how might it be fixed and given over to posterity? How is colour changing – technologically and culturally – and how does changing colours change difference for the arts?
Beginning from discussions between collaborating artists, this special issue of PUBLIC seeks partners and correspondents from all milieus where colour is currently changing, and being rethought. From philosophical deployment to bio-chemical induction, from environmental evidence to spirits and mythologies, and from art historical objects (traces of colour preserved as artworks) to the manufacturing sectors that develop new techniques for color production, distribution, organization, and consumption.
Our premise is that colour has a future in the arts if it affects significant contrasts in contemporary perception. Accepted contributions will record these effects, and – borrowing a term from cinema, will function as RUSHES: image-capture (retentions) that have yet to be installed within synthetic cultural theories, abstract models, or scored codes. The conditions of these rushes cannot be deduced from general ‘theory’, a scientific norm, or philosophical first principles. They depend on transformations of sensible experience, of ways of perceiving, being affected, and recording. Colour rushes appear as either facts or fictions, or as fantasies, erasures, spirit energies, and forces. Sometimes, they appear by way of literal documentation, but they are never fully abstracted from figures (that is, metaphors). Colour records effects of colonization and resistance, of technical euphoria, and environmental fear. Colour can be fast (like rushes fixed on recording media); and it can move in flickering images that circumnavigate our globe. (Of course, colour can also hang in the air like an atmosphere – the strange feeling of global drift beneath the grey of (computing) Clouds.
We are looking for changing colour as condensed in written aphorisms – or allegories, affirmations, confessions and sorrows, margin notes, postings, poetic licenses, and shared files. We seek descriptive words on any colour, of any kind, of any length up to 1,200 – 1,500 words. Contributors will be individual, collective, or anonymous – and are free to propose more than one entry for this volume. We also encourage extracts from broader research projects, without regard to whether the focus of this research is colour, or if the author otherwise intends to build a bridge to the visual arts. Images, with captions, may also be proposed – although “Artists’ Projects” will not be specifically differentiated.
PUBLIC 51 will be a rush of changing Colour. Please send proposals of no more than 300 words along with a short bio to PUBLIC, care of Aleksandra Kaminska, by no later than October 1, 2014.
Proposals (300 words): October 1, 2014
Invitations sent out: October 15, 2014
Full contributions due: January 5, 2015
Publication: late Spring 2015