“Fugitive Color and the Choreographed Escape” presented by Hessels


Session Title:

  • Environmental Art

Presentation Title:

  • Fugitive Color and the Choreographed Escape




  • For centuries, color was mortal, its fate tied to its organic roots. Fugitive colors change due to an array of factors and have tragically distanced the art artefact from the artists’ intent. Developments in chemistry gradually synthesized pigments that defied the inevitable. The quest for fixed color however took an unusual turn with the discovery of liquid crystal display. Electronic control of the crystal structure sparked recent display evolution, but the same effect can be triggered through environmental factors. Adding deliberate temporality to hue and matching it with hardware controls, a class of artworks is emerging that utilizes these new pigments. Technology first halted the dying of colors of Art History and has now given them life. Smart materials can now be programmed, choreographing the chemistry that once threatened masterpieces. The paper will discuss fugitive colors as villain, captive and hero, presenting recent projects that embrace colors that won’t sit still.