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Functional Colors: The Varied Applications of Complementary Hues

Film scholars in recent years have identified a differentiated landscape of color systems in terms of looks and processes that represent natural color phenomena with increasing fidelity and automation. Here, I propose extending the concept of film colors to techniques that deploy colors in order to produce effects that do not showcolor but useit for other means. Stereoscopy and compositing are two applications from the 1920s that employed complementary colors and that were often developed by the same parties that helped create representational color systems. These correlations have, thus far, not been the subject of color studies because research is organized according to the intended applications of techniques and does not follow the work of the technicians and artists. I argue that techniques that use colors for other purposes have been ignored due to a focus on color primarily in relation to human perception and understanding. To extend the scope of research to nonrepresentational applications of color, as I propose, thus implies a methodological critique of the existing discourse on color as being anthropocentric, that is, as ignoring functional relationships of colors that do not relate to humans.
DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.2605321
Publisher: Zenodo

+ Fussnote: "This article was published as "Birk Weiberg. "Functional Colors: The Varied Applications of Complementary Hues." Film History 29, no. 2 (2017): 91-107. doi:10.2979/filmhistory.29.2.04". No part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or distributed in any form, by any means, electronic, mechanical, photographing or otherwise, without the prior permission of Indiana University Press. For education reuse, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center . For all other permissions, contact IU Press at ." + ID der Publikation: hslu_53418 + Art des Beitrages: Wissenschaftliche Medien + Jahrgang: 29 + Sprache: Englisch + Letzte Aktualisierung: 2019-03-25 14:06:14


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Functional Colors