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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Experiments in Touching Color
Jim Campbell

Experiments in Touching Color consists of a small black pedestal in a small dark room.The pedestal has a glass screen in the top surface and is hollow with a video projector inside. An image is projected onto the glass rear screen from below. When the viewers first walk into the room they see an image on top of the pedestal in a silent room. When a viewer puts their hand on the glass screen two things happen at the same time. A sound from the image fades up in the space and the image dissolves to a single color. As long as the hand stays on the glass screen, the sound remains and the image stays a single but changing color. As the hand moves around the image, the color field emanating from the pedestal goes through a sequence of colors.

This color is based upon where specifically the viewer is touching. For example, if the image is of a talking head, as the viewer moves his fingers from the lips up to the eyebrow, the emanat ing color from the screen changes from pale pink to varying flesh tones to dark brown.The color seen at any one time is based upon the color of the pixel that the viewer's middle fingertip is touching in the now unseen image that was there. The viewer's memory of the image that was there, along with the explo ration of the colors at the various points in the now hidden image, define a new image that is part mem ory and part detail. And the image is moving. So after the image fades out and the color field fades in, the image continues to change. This is why the sound is important.The sound which contains the movement of the event helps the viewer to imagine what the image is now doing.