Why THAT Color? Why Not? Interview with Aleksandar Maćašev

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chromatweet-dumbo-new3bI’m beginning to understand more deeply that COLOR is more than a well-defined, well-behaved set of terms we all share regarding the physical ordering of colors and our assignment of the use of colors in society and culture.

We tend to think of color as physical measurements of light, and we have psychological responses to colors of light. In fact, global advertisers can count on these predictable responses for more sales.

Here’s the deal: Color is what you make it. In the same way that music can be defined in terms of pitch, interval, and duration, color can be defined as hue, saturation, and value. But like music, color is not something that can only be described by its physical presence. You can feel music and notice its influence, and so it is with color – if you make it so.

And so I say: Let’s challenge the established rules – which so many of us unconsciously find ourselves using – with our awareness, or lack thereof, of color.

And what better way to do that than to collaborate with one particular amazing person who now looks beyond the convention of defining, feeling, and using color. A man who believes in helping others find ‘THEIR’ way of defining, using, and feeling colors – Aleksandar Maćašev. You can start by visiting his website, Chromapost.com; in fact, I encourage you to go there and explore. It’s the basis of this podcast.

chromatweet-macasevAleksandar is a New York-based visual artist. His work often crosses and re-crosses a thin line between art and design, and it ranges from deceptively simple to highly political. In 2010 his diverse body of work was collected and published in Aleksandar Maćašev / Book.

“Color is not essential, but very influential …
Color is ever changing, it is very relative and relational …”

This idea of exploring the topic of color from a more artistic perspective originated from five blog posts by Aleksandar  I read at Munsell.com that challenge the typical notions of how we think of color.  It was more of an ‘unthinking’ that I had to get my head around.  Aleksandar references a UK artist and author who explores our views and use of color from mind-altering perspectives, such as why is the West so infatuated with the color ‘white’?

My goal is to bring more awareness of color to people, especially to filmmakers, script writers, set designers, and the like. That’s the world I live in, especially independent filmmakers. I want to teach and inspire storytellers to consider a deeper and broader use of color to transform their audience with different perspectives. To reach beyond what has been done before with color in films, to expand ourselves to a higher level of awareness of life. That’s a big goal, I know, and that’s what keeps tugging at my core.

In the last 5 years there has been a huge shift in the availability of very-high-quality hardware and software for video production, with prices dropping rapidly. This is the area I know the most about. Along with this rise in sophistication of machines, there has been the rise of YouTube (now more than 10 years old), with millions of people just wanting to tell stories with video. We live in a world of “Polaroid video shooters” pushing buttons to tell stories – and yet they so often seem unaware of light and color. I can only imagine that the old masters of the paint world would be dumbfounded should they travel forward in time to meet with the newer generation of video storytellers.

Don’t get me wrong; there are many creative filmmakers. But in general, I sense a lack of awareness and inspiration about color in our lives.  We have the imagination to shape how we feel about color, and now we have access to equipment to use color in far more creative ways than most of us know … yet. If you’re interested in further reading to expand your awareness and use of color in storytelling let me encourage you to check out David Batchelor’s Chromphobia, he will take you on a new journey through the the topic of color that will push up against what you may know now. So on with the show!

Download only the audio portion here.

Tom

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