Posts Tagged ‘harmonic color circle’


Saturday, November 14th, 2009

When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six, I did. The doctors didn’t know if my eyes would ever heal. I was terrified, alone in that darkness. Slowly daylight crept in through the bandages, and I could see, but something else had changed inside of me. That day I had my first headache.
qote from the movie pi(1998) by darren aronofsky

everybody knows the optical phenomenon when looking into a bright light source and then close your eyes, you see a phantom image of the shape of the light source. this is called an afterimage. the light receptors in the inside of your eye tend to get tired when exposed to bright light for a certain ammount of time and so can’t react anymore to new inputs. this not only works with your eyes closed but also when you look against a surface with a homogeneous color.

this effect happens due to the complementary color, thou turning black surfaces into white and vice versa. the complentary colors don’t match with the complementaries of the symmetrical color circle. when looking at a color, the brain already expects to see the “aftercolor”, that’s why certain combinations of colors please our eye and certain do not. this color circle is called harmonic. comparing the oppositon of the colors with a regular color circle, you find some differences, for example normally yellow opposes blue, but in this circle its complemantary color is violet.

Persistence of vision is the phenomenon of the eye by which an afterimage is thought to persist for approximately one twenty-fifth of a second on the retina.
The myth of persistence of vision is the mistaken belief that human perception of motion (brain centered) is the result of persistence of vision (eye centred). The myth was debunked in 1912 by Wertheimer[1] but persists in many citations in many classic and modern film-theory texts.

this is an interesting point for me, because my goal is to use the phenomenon of the afterimage to produce a sequence of pictures thats rolling like a film over your inner eye. for this i will build up a completly dark room, inside a constantly flashing display that should produce the afterimages onto the sight of the viewer.

another possibility would be to develop a system to influence what kind of pictures the visitor of the installation percepts while looking into the light and so guide him through a sequential story with the assistance of correctly timed soundeffects and voice acting, even maybe switch between the dark and lighted modes to inflict drama and to sustain the intended feeling of the storyteller.

now it’s time for research, due to the fact the afterimage actually works only after a certain time of exposure it seems quite impossible to produce a sequence of pictures but that’s the fun to find out…… (more…)