I am sure that people that have been working with color detection, will agree with Josef Albers’ statement that
“Color is the most relative medium in art”
Since color is reflected light, and because the light is ever changing in a room, and because the reflected light is affected by other sources of reflected light, that reflects reflected light, it can be a very tricky to work with!
“Colors and Hues are defined, as are tones in music, by wave length”
I decided to read the book “Interaction of Color”, by Josef Albers – student and teacher at Weimar Bauhaus, because I found it to be relevant to me and Natasha’s Color Play project. For our project we have built our own color sensor by a light sensor and an RGB LED. Im am just recently beginning to understand how the sensor actually works – how it much like the human vision, reads waves of light physically bouncing off of a surface.
Because our project deals with a color – sound relationship, I read the book with these color-sound glasses on. Reading the book in that context totally made sense, because in “Interaction of Color”, Josef Albers uses several musical analogies such as harmony and harmonization, dissonance, consonance, interval, composition, arrangement and more to explain his color theory and it was great to learn more about Albers thoughts on how the senses of vision and hearing relate. He compares how hearing music depends on the recognition of the in-betweens of the tones, of their placing and of their spacing and to how the concern should be the interaction of color and seeing what happens between colors.
He also talks a lot about the differences in how we perceive color from sound, how we are able to hear a single tone, but that we almost never see a single color. He states that if one is not able to distinguish the difference between a higher tone and a lower tone, one should probably not make music, and explains how that conclusion can’t really be applied to color, since very few people can distinguish higher and lower light intensity between different hues.
According to Josef Albers, what is the most distinct difference between a musical composition and a color composition is, that music is perceived over time, where colors can be seen in any direction and at any speed.
“different basic conditions of these media result in different behavior”
Bauhaus was founded with the idea of Gesamtkunstwerk, creating a ‘total’ work of art in which all arts, including architecture would eventually be brought together. To me, ITP could be the Bauhaus of today. This possibility of synthesis of the arts is what I find to be so great and special about ITP. Here you meet people with skills in all the different fields of the arts and beyond.
Just as with Bauhaus, ITP offers an experimental hands on approach to learning and creating arts education. Let’s think about what it is that makes a coding class at ITP different from a coding class at computer Science studies?
“Just as the knowledge of acoustics does not make one musical… so does no color system by itself develop one’s sensitivity for color… What counts here is not so called knowledge, but seing. Seing here implies fantasy and imagination” Josef Albers