Commissioned by Illuminating York 2007, Usman Haque created this imaginative interactive light projection installation that creates a surreal wrapping of color around the facade of York Minster. The colored light patterns start at the base of the building and move upward at a rate and pattern unique to the corresponding frequencies and rhythms of sound created by the people in the immediate surrounding area.
About the Project
A specially commissioned project for Illuminating York 2007 in northern England, Evoke is a massive animated projection that lights up the facade of York Minster in response to the public, who use their own voices to "evoke" colourful light patterns that emerge at the building's foundations and soar up towards the sky, giving the surface a magical feeling as it melts with colour.
The cathedral, built to link conceptually earth to the heavens, has been a site for the conveyance of words, dreams and aspirations for hundreds of years. The facade is designed to orient the gazes of passers-by upwards. As an attempt to continue this tradition, the patterns of Evoke are generated in realtime by the words, sounds, music and noises produced collectively by the public, determined by their particular voice characteristics. The colours will skim the surface of the Minster, pour round its features and crevasses, emerging finally near the top of the facade where they will sparkle high overhead.
People with voices of different frequencies, rhythms or cadences will be able to evoke quite different magical patterns upon the surface of the building - a staccato chirping will result in a completely different set of visual effects to a long howl for example, blending old and new to continue animating the facade of the Minster.
- Evoke by Haque Design + Research
How the color identities 'pink for girls and blue for boys' ever really got started; who knows, or, who really cares, but the fact is, these assignments do exist, and they are based solely on gender, making it nearly impossible for me to wear anything warmer than scarlet without affecting my internalized 'blue' masculinity and being called 'Strawberry Shortcake.'
While this question has been taken up by COLOURlovers before; and this person said this, and that person said that. It seems though, that these gender identity colors appeared after WWII, which also happens to coincide with the United States' greatest consumer expansion and the development of marketing, advertising and public relations, not that I'm inferring a correlation, but Barbie should be held accountable for at least some of it.
Jeongmee Yoon's 'The Pink and Blue Project' was inspired by this very observation of gender and color, and offers a visualization of this divided world of pink and blue.
About the Project
"The Pink and Blue Project" was at first motivated by my daughter. At five years old, she loves pink so much that she wants to wear only pink clothes and use only pink toys or objects.
I found that she is not unusual and most other little girls in the U.S. and South Korea love pink clothing, accessories and toys. This phenomenon seems widespread among various ethnic groups regardless of their cultural background. It could be the result of an influence of customs or the power of pervasive commercial advertisements for merchandise such as Barbie and Hello Kitty.
Is yellow sweet like a banana or sour like a lemon? From casual observations of our own eating we know that the visual 'taste' of food can be just as important as the ingredients in a dish. But how much does your internalized color and food associations - the ones we started developing from the very first time we saw our mothers' arm reach across and place before us a dark green round leafy Brussels sprout - impact what you are tasting now, and how are food producers exploiting this information to influence consumers?
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Some recent research might make you think twice about what you are tasting, and whether or not you might just be seeing a difference.
Food Color Research
A study published in the Journal of Consumer Research entitled, Taste Perception: More than Meets the Tongue:
The researchers manipulated orange juice by changing color (with food coloring), sweetness (with sugar), or by labeling the cups with brand and quality information. They found that though brand name influenced people's preferences for one cup of juice over another, labeling one cup a premium brand and the other an inexpensive store brand had no effect on perceptions of taste.
In contrast, the tint of the orange juice had a huge effect on the taster's perceptions of taste. As the authors put it: "Color dominated taste."
Given two cups of the same Tropicana orange juice, with one cup darkened with food coloring, the members of the researcher's sample group perceived differences in taste that did not exist. However, when given two cups of orange juice that were the same color, with one cup sweetened with sugar, the same people failed to perceive taste differences.
"It seems unlikely that our consumers deliberately eschewed taste for color as a basis for discrimination," write the authors. "Moreover, our consumers succumbed to the influence of color but were less influenced by the powerful lure of brand and price information."
Meaning, people thought the orange juice tasted different when there was no actual taste difference just because it was a slightly different color, but when the color remained the same, and the actual taste was changed, people didn't taste a difference.
More Food Color Research
During one experiment in the early 1970s people were served an oddly tinted meal of steak and french fries that appeared normal beneath colored lights. Everyone thought the meal tasted fine until the lighting was changed. Once it became apparent that the steak was actually blue and the fries were green, some people became ill.
Studies have found that the color of a food can greatly affect how its taste is perceived. Brightly colored foods frequently seem to taste better than bland-looking foods, even when the flavor compounds are identical. Foods that somehow look off-color often seem to have off tastes. For thousands of years human beings have relied on visual cues to help determine what is edible. The color of fruit suggests whether it is ripe, the color of meat whether it is rancid. Flavor researchers sometimes use colored lights to modify the influence of visual cues during taste tests.
-Excerpt taken from Erice Schlosser's book Fast Food Nation
Examples of Food That Probably Shouldn't Be the Color It Is
I think my first experience with Crystal Pepsi went something like this: "Alright Pepsi has a new lemon lime soda! Oh, wait! Why does it taste like cola!? Weird."
The last time I saw a cow produce bright yellow milk was when I wondered off from Woodstock into a neighboring farm. There I met a sociable hen named Margery who introduced me to that magical and mysterious milk cow.
And any other highly processed food targeted towards the most rational of consumers, children. But the bright colors do make it more exciting.
- Check out these previous food color posts:
Color Guide to Staying Healthy and Eating Right
Wonders of the Food Coloring World
"Display your soul by colourcode."
German designers, illustrators, photographers, painters, musicians and paper toy makers, atelier | olschinsky, have a new line of colorful toys that allow you to, as the makers say:
Express yourself by matching colours – each colour code stands for a certain spiritual condition. Create your colourcode the easy way! it comes to you ready for assembling.
These motley, animated and vibrant toys truly display the designers' humour, appreciation for color and fantastic sense for composition. They also have a corresponding line of buttons that can interact with your colorcode.
If you can't, or just refuse to deal with the currency exchange and overseas shipping, you can still download backgrounds for your computer, and at least let everyone at the office know your current spiritual condition.
You can find the coloucode toys along with other colorful toys at their store.
While the overall "color of the year" for the North American International Auto Show in Detroit may be "green", and for good reason, there are a few new colors, and the comeback of a few classic colors as well, that will soon be seen at your local parking lot or drive-thru line.
The auto industry is known for sticking to standard hues from year to year - which is still a big step compared to Mr.Fords 'one color for all' Model T, and his motto: “Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black,” and while the general colors remain the same, it is the shades that are continually becoming more and more interesting every year.
Recently, the colors used on automobiles have been made up of multiple color layers added together with translucent layers making each color increasingly more complex. Look at a car from one angle the color might be "scorched penny" but as you move your point of view around the car the color moves along with you changing drastically from that bright orange to nearly black.
DuPont 2007 Global Automotive Color of the Year
After seven years in first place, silver ran into tough competition this year with white/white pearl rising to the lead color choice for vehicles in one key region and two countries. In North America, white/white pearl, silver and black/black effect are in a virtual tie for first, with white/white pearl narrowly taking the top spot, according to the report issued by the company’s Automotive Systems business. White overcame silver in Japan and is the decisive leader in Mexico, more than doubling the popularity of gray.
-DuPont Reports Global Color Popularity Ratings for Vehicles
So, while the car industry never strays too far from the popular colors, the growing 'niche' color market is something for a color lover to excited about. In recent years the niche market has seen bright saturated oranges and greens. Imagine what might come next, I'm hoping for patterns, but we will just have to wait and see.
Some of My Favorite Colors Popping Up at the NAIAS This Year