Sunday, June 2, 2013

Visual Representation and a Color-blind Perspective

Microphone used for recording session. May 30, 2012

         The Interaction with Color Collection presents the role that color represents within specific types of activities, characteristics of an object, and the human body as an object. These are my concepts for the collecting and documenting process of the video clips for the collection theme. A color-blind perspective is used to restage the collection theme and provides a personal experience with the visual representation of color.
            The participant’s name is Harry. Harry first realized he was color-blind when he was going through testing for aviation training in the United States military service in 1965. Color codes have a large role in military aviation signaling. Being color-blind limited Harry’s advancement in his training.
            Less than ten percent of the male population is color-blind.[1] For women it is rare, but still possible since color-blindness is inherited.[2] The Colblindor website offers a free ebook, Color Blind Essentials, that references the types of color vision and tests.
            Harry’s perspective on the Interaction with Color Collection is not a color vision test.  I have requested to Harry to put a side, the best of his ability, the social standards he has acquired with color in his everyday living. A common example of color used as a social standard would be the placement of the colors red and green on a traffic light. These colors are also among the most questionable for the color-blind person to identify. The limited ability for the color-blind person in determining certain colors can be due to the shade (light to dark) of the color.[3]
            After Harry recorded his perspective of the collection, we had a conversation about two distinguished visuals and the prominent color associations. The two video clips are the crayon coloring of an image of a tree and the orange fruit being cut. Harry explains as he observed the video of the image of the tree in the coloring book that he sees green as the crayon color. He continues with explaining that the image of the tree also directs his thoughts about the color, because he has been told several times that a tree trunk is brown. In this example the image presented in the video clip has a role of persuading Harry to comment on his color choice.
             The orange fruit being cut is approach in a similar manner. Harry has been informed of the fruit’s shape and texture. The audio of Harry’s voice for the orange fruit video clip was documented stating “orange.” In the process of editing the restaging, I accidentally cut that portion of the audio for the orange fruit video clip. The clip was not included in the restaging video, because of the loss of audio.
            I did not ask Harry to redo the audio. It was important that the recording session was done in one take. This is intended to document Harry’s perspective without him becoming to familiar with the Interaction with Color Collection’s video clips. This blog post references the process of the audio recording, along with the orange fruit video clip being included in the original act of recording.  
Harry sitting at table with computer during recording session.
            The drawings included in this blog post are of the microphone used in the recording process and a sketch of Harry at the table recording with the computer.  My inclusion of the drawings is part of the process during my observations of Harry’s recording session. Referencing my January 5, 2013 blog post, The Role of the Drawing Process in “fieldwork”, instead of the drawing process being used to visually investigate the spatial perspective of an environment for site-specific documentation, the drawing process incorporates a visual representation of my observations of Harry recording his perspective beyond my written notes. I chose the drawing process over taking digital images, because the drawing process engages my body and senses with observing the experience.
            This blog post does have absences concerning Visual Culture theories such as Semiology and the “linguistic turn.”[4] The blog post demonstrates how the restaging creates an individual insight to Harry’s visual perception of color by documenting his language use as he reacts to the visual representation. Presenting these aspects of the recording process contributes to the understanding of the collaborating experience between Harry and myself in creating a translation of the collection theme. 
 

To view the restaging of the Interaction with Color Collection



[4] Christopher Pinney, “Four Types of Visual Culture,” in Handbook of Material Culture, eds. Chris Tilley, Webb Keane, Susanne Küchler, Mike Rowlands, Patricia Spyer (London: Sage, 2006) 131- 134

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