Art and Research Project Outline:
Art Project:
For this next 2 semesters I would like to develop and refine a body of work that incorporates the experimental mapping of color and language that was developed the prior semester.  This work is interesting to me because it removes the immediate legibility from the language (an issue when introducing text into art as views are continually negotiating back and forth between the two elements in the work) allowing the viewer to experience the aesthetic of meaning without the need to necessarily decode what the meaning is.  I am also interested in if people can grow to really use this new way of representing language in a serious way as the potential to hold meaning is no different than these scratch-marks that we make on this bleach dead tree skins.  This might lead to other ways of expressing linguistic ideas in forms that might give a completely different meaning to what the language expresses.  As I will continue to use this mapping system in my work it will also give my use of this technique more credibility and power.
I see many ways, even at this early stage of development, of developing work that relates to this mapping system.  I have split up these ideas into 3 categories: physical, interactive and electronic manifestations.  The working title might be something like “The Meaning of Color”.
The physical manifestation of this type of work could take the form of a series of hand bound “artist books” rendered in the color font.  The development of a poetic style that combines the use of normal language with the secondary meaning of color to render multiple meanings for words and sentences used within the poetry.  The color printout of large blocks of text onto a single grid as photographs as well as the use of the crayon work that is (in many ways) the equivalent of the typesetting printing blocks done before the use of computers.
The interactive manifestation of such an installation might involve the development of a Microsoft Office Macro to translate normal text to color, the on line distribution of the idea as a shareware idea (with the hope of starting a open source community that could standardize such a system).  Who knows, maybe a Wikipedia entry on the topic and a nice Leonardo article.
The electronic manifestation of such an installation could be done through the use of a computer program that quickly displayed text and projected the equivalent set of colors using a projector to reinforce the notion of verbal meaning with corresponding visual display of a the mapped colors.  This program could be available as a flash web page and give users around the world access (via a network interface) to type textual messages that would be rendered in the gallery space during the time of the exhibit with both visual and auditory components rendered at the same time
I am sure that as I further refine the concept I will develop other ideas that might turn out to be more fruitful than some of those listed above.  As with all art, many of the great ideas come out only in process itself.
Research Project  “The Color of Thought”
In order to relate more directly with semester with my art project I would like to embark on a research topic that will give me a firm background and knowledge about the use of color and language.  I would like to spend the first semester learning about how people see color and how quickly they can differential between colors.  How color has been used within language, poetry, and music.  What social conventions give various colors meaning?  What are physiological and psychological effects of color on us as humans and what disorders such as Synestesia, Daltonism, etc. tell us about the boundaries between language and our sensory perceptions?  How have artists used color to express ideas in their work and what creative mapping structures of color to sound, tones, and words have already been developed and how they have been received?
In conjunction with the research on color I will undertake a study of linguistics as it relates to the use of written text to express verbal speech.  I want to start with the history of the early alphabet and its development (via the Roman system of writing) to the present day use of words.  I will also go over some of the other systems of recording thoughts that differ from the Roman alphabetical system (such as the Mandarin Chinese Language, the Incan Quipu knot system, as well as other systems that have been developed to record thoughts and ideas).  I would like to see what the limitations of these systems allow one to express or not express.
I would then like to completely develop the color mapping system fully so that others can use the system as an alternative way of notating and recording the written language.  I will be focused on the grammar structures for the system as well as trying to develop the most effective way of expressing the typography of such a system.  I will also critique such a system as it relates to the population that experiences color blindness or other physical issues that inhibits deciphering such a system.
The background research for such a topic is overwhelmingly broad so I would like to request at least 2 semesters to fully develop the foundational knowledge needed to completely explore all aspects of the relationship between language and color as well as develop many of my ideas on use of mapping of letters and color.