Colorfull Books
Boekenweek 4: Tauba Auerbach

Issue no6
dec- -jan 2021
Vijf interviews - Depot

From March 22 on view in Wiels Brussels: Tauba Auerbach. Metropolis M's Erik Wysocan talked with her in her New York studio.

In Brussels Tauba Auerbach also presents the 8 x 8 x 8-inch hard-back cubes illustrating the color spectrum through digital offset print in a page-by-page medium. a digital offset print on paper with airbrushed cloth cover and book edges create a colorful reference volume of all the colors in existence. The special binding was co-designed by the artist herself in collaboration with Daniel E. Kelm, and were printed at wide awake garage, an independent bookbinder, with help from Leah Hughes.


Erik Wysocan:
Using spatial depth as a means to render a fourth dimension in colourspace has a similar logic to that other model of colour that has become so common to us by way of Photoshop: RGB colourspace – the definition employed by computers, often rendered as a three dimensional cube. And, of course, you've appropriated this for your series RGB Colorspace Atlas, giving it a very real, even weighty physical presence. How do you think about the effect of digital culture on art or rather, how do you think of digital-as-sculpture?

Tauba Auerbach:
‘I don't think as much about the culture that takes place on digital media as I do think about the shape and texture of the technology itself. Of course these things are related and the social aspect of that is interesting, but I tend to come at it from a technical perspective. In my view, the defining feature of digital language is that it quantifies whatever is put into it and makes it granular. Ambiguity and fluidity are represented by strategically arranging unambiguous and discrete units. When quantifying colour digitally, people had to ask what a suitable unit size would be, and as I understand it, in the standard digital RGB space there are 256 possible values of each primary, so you get more than 16 million discrete colours.

I personally I love the RGB cube because of its elegance and relationship to the way we perceive space. Each of the three light primaries – red, green and blue – is assigned an axis, and the cube is essentially defined as the area within which the values for red, green and blue go from 0% to 100%. At the origin, where all three values are zero, there is no light; and so that corner of the cube is black. At the opposite corner, where all three values are at 100%, there is all light; and so that corner is white. The other six corners of the cube are the light primaries and light secondaries, which also correspond to the process primaries – cyan, magenta and yellow. A lot of mathematical colour models predate digital technology though….’

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