The Color Theory Project

I am in the research phase for a new project called Color Theory – A Chromatic and Audio Anthology. I have been intrigued by the idea of experiencing human color outside social contexts and perceptions. I am inspired by Josef Albers’ research on the interaction and perception of color relationships. His findings are appropriate and powerful correlations in investigating and recontextualizing the vast kaleidoscope of human skin tones. 

In this first phase of research, I utilize App technology that scans objects (a human participant’s face, or arm, in this case), and save a palette of five-pixel points of color as the particular participant’s color palette. I have been delighted by the unexpected kaleidoscope of color found in each person; you are NOT a single color or skin tone! These palettes are saved and named by the participant — literally whatever they want to name it — alluding to naming/identification systems of home decor paint swatches. I precisely match each collected swatch using a consistent six-pigment palette. These painted and digital colors will be incorporated into artworks such as bound books, drawings, paintings, and various interactive exhibition installations.

Unlike Albers’ studies, which removed as many variables as possible and studied color apart from any external influences or emotional nuances, this project reasserts humanity to this anthology of color by asking each participant to record a 2-3-minute story, memory, or anecdote. These recordings will be accessible via QR code to viewers of the completed artworks, linking the humanity and shared and unique experiences connected to each swatch of color. As with the color swatches, these short stories represent a pixel point in the life of each participant.

This project is a labor of love. I truly enjoy the interaction with each participant, their delight with the revelation of the depth of color they possess, and I am fascinated by hearing the specific snippets of lives shared by each participant in the recorded stories. The colors are something beautiful to appreciate in their own rite.

I am excited to be at IUN’s Pop Up Art + Action Interactive Exhibition at Southlake Mall in Merrillville, IN, as an artist-in-residence to further this research through Mid-August. The Pop-Up operates TH-SUN 12-6 PM. Stay tuned for my specific dates and hours on site.

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