• A Pigment of the Imagination: in what ways is colour information?

    Alexander Andrew Bell (see profile)
    CityLIS, Library & Information Science
    Art--Research, Art, Modern, Twenty-first century, Library science, Information science, Information theory--Philosophy, Art
    Item Type:
    City University of London
    art and design libraries, artistic practices, colour theory, Information theory, Artistic research, Art librarianship, Contemporary art, Library and information science, Philosophy of information, Visual art
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    The world is ablaze with colour, and for artists and designers the spectrum is both a vital tool and highly informational. Whether found in the circadian rhythms of nature, contemporary works of art or art & design libraries, colour’s kaleidoscopic lens allows us to observe, experience, and communicate the tessellation of information present in our environments. Through a combination of conceptual and visual analysis the research project explores colour’s informational properties by posing the question ‘in what ways is colour information?’. The research rests on dialogues about the nature of information as it occurs across different domains. A literature review forms the necessary context by covering the nature of information, artist’s information behaviour, and colour theory. Conceptual analysis uses a narrative style to tell the story of ‘information’ and analyses Luciano Floridi’s (2010) General Definition of Information. Visual analysis then investigates immersive colour artworks and the use of colour documents in the studio works of Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson. Further to this, a research trip to the Colour Reference Library at the Royal College of Art provides an analysis of colour order systems commonly found in art libraries. The resulting desk research demonstrates that properties of colour and contemporary art can be understood as both environmental and semantic information. Discussion formulates that experience and participation are closely linked to the meaning-making of visual information. The project highlights a further need for future research into visual literacy, information experience and concepts of ‘digital synaesthesia’ in immersive documents. The research provides a novel inspection of colour and information theory and contributes insight into the pervasive visual information environment that library and information professionals must now understand and support.
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago
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