Color is hard to define. Technically, it is the visual perception of the spectrum of light as it interacts with photoreceptor cells in our eyes. Did you fall asleep reading that? The technical definition fails to capture the experience of color. For instance, the color red is a certain wavelength of the visual light spectrum. But the experience of the color red is so much more.
To explore the relationship between color, light, and space, designers Aleksandra Stratimirovic and Athanassios Danilof created “Color Wheels,” an award-winning exhibit that debuted in 2016. The exhibit is on display this week at ArchLIGHT Summit in Dallas. I interviewed Aleksandra in a Zoom call to learn more about this spectacular display.
Aleksandra and Athanassios drew inspiration for the piece from the “enthralling history of color research,” beginning with the likes of Philipp Otto Runge and Sir Isaac Newton. Our understanding of color has evolved as we better understand the physical principles behind the phenomenon.
But, there is no substitute for experiencing color firsthand.
Color Wheels gives you that opportunity. The light art is a triptych, each section consisting of six concentric circles that can vary in brightness, hue, and saturation. According to Aleksandra, “The goal is to investigate color harmonies and analogies as well as complementary, simultaneous and sequential color contrasts and chromatic afterimages.” Your vision becomes adapted to one color, and then the color wheel changes, producing an afterimage effect, similar to an optical illusion.
Reading about Color Wheels cannot do it justice – you will have to experience the display for yourself at ArchLIGHT Summit.