How transparent is the content you consume on your screens?
Color Theory summarizes my ongoing critical research on painting as a medium and color as a subject. Belonging to a generation indoctrinated to the accelerated conquest of technology over privacy, I am interested in the role full-color screens play in our construct of reality. Mashall McLuhan’s first law of communication predicted, “whoever controls the media controls the people”. And yet, digital citizens go about our screen usage so unquestionably that screens have become extensions of our bodies; suggesting that whoever controls the screen controls our future.
“Morals reformed, health preserved, industry invigorated”, Color Theory makes reference to Jeremy Bentham, 18th-century British social reformer who materialized his theory of power with the panopticon. Asymmetrical surveillance architecture with cells arraigned at the periphery and an inspection tower at the center. Subjects are free to circulate, however, they are blinded by a backlighting effect and cannot see the watchman dominating the tower. Power becomes visible and unverifiable. A “cruel and ingenious cage”, according to Foucault, where inmates are objects of information, never subjects in communication. Assuming the constraints of power, they modify their behavior, and participate in their own subjection. A social control mechanism that allows to obtain power of mind over mind.
Technology dematerialized the walls of the panopticon and the inspection tower morphed into miniaturized satellite-monitored screen mediated smart devices. Now normalized in public and private spaces, they track our every move, modify our behaviour and alter our perception of reality. Who’s on the other side of your screen?
My paintings use SMPTE colors to question digital surveillance and asymmetrical data capture. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) refer to SMPTE color bars as engineering guidelines that measure how digital signals may have been altered and what adjustments must be made to bring them back to specs. Color Theory offers an analog calibrating standard to empower the spectator in demanding from their screens panoptic-free content.