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We do not see reality, nor do we even "see" a subset of reality. What we think is real is the model we create in our minds from distorted, imperfect and incomplete sensory data perception modified by our brains through conscious and non conscious processes. Reality as we know it is flawed, grossly generalized, and incomplete.

We see, or think we do, objects, light, and movement. Even if we assume that we do see, what we see is an incomplete spectrum. We cannot comprehend ultraviolet, or the infrared spectra. Our eyes don't pick them up. Similar and more limiting is our inability to sense xray, gamma ray microwave or other lower radio wave energy. We are 99%+ blind yet we think we have sight.

Within our limited visual spectra we only see averages, our eyes have no absolutes. Light comes only in contrast to dark. Color perception should always be relative to illumination, yet red remains red, blue remains blue and orange, orange. We do not see individual spectra but averages. OK this takes explanation.

Light comes to us in different wavelength each hue corresponds to a wavelength. The visible spectrum occurs between 380 and 720 nanometers(NM). That is there is 380- 720 nanometers between wave peaks in the light. Standard Red LEDs? (Light Emitting Diodes) produce light with a wavelength of 660 nanometers. But the red part of the spectrum is generally considered to be 620-750 nanometers. Each separate wavelength or even fractional wavelength is a different hue. 625 nanometers is different than 685.53 nanometers. There are an infinite number of hues, we cannot distinguish ones that are close together. We also cannot distinguish hues that are mixed from pure hues. Light coming to our eyes that contains both 620 nanometer light and 660 nanometer light is interpreted by our eyes as light with a hue that falls between these two individual spectra. The light might not contain 640 nanometer wavelengths but we could interpret it that way. We don't see the individual spectra, we see an average.

If you look at white pigments under black light you see completely different responses depending on how the pigments interact with the invisible UV or ultraviolet light from the black light. Night club type black lights use europium-doped strontium fluoroborate (SrB4O7F?:Eu2+) (from wikipedia) and have their UV peak at 370nm. They also give off blue light which is filtered out with coating on the glass. What happens is that some white pigments absorb the energy from the UV light and then regurgitate the light at different frequencies making these white pigments appear brighter than white.

When I was a child the quality of normal Flourescent lights was poor. They gave off very few spectra, and although these spectra were balanced to appear white, they contained so few sepctra that some pigments appeared black or grey under their light. Artists were told to paint under incandescent or daylight or expect their paint colors to shift in museum settings. While modern flourescents have improved they still do not even approach daylight or incandescent light. Compare the areas between 380 and 720 nanometers on these charts.

Further we label colors only as colors of objects, not as the light entering the eye. Consequently a red object remains red even if the light striking it makes it appear bue, green or grey. Because it has red paint on it, it "is" red.

When we name, we divide the named from the rest of the cosmos. By nameing Green we separate it from blue and yellow, we deliniate and draw distinction. However no distinction exists, the line is not there, the separation we draw is in our heads. It has no matter, no energy, it is idea, not image, but imagination, figment, ghost. The separation does not exist.

Some namings create separations whose non-reality is easy to understand. Green named separates from blue, good distinguishes itself from bad. Belief in these bipolar sorts of ideas label such believers as dualist (this is not a good use of this label). It is a great concept, but like all such concepts it too is illusion, non-reality, ghost. Fact is, "you are either a dualist or you are not." [ I am thinking "separationist" might be a better word.]

It is my belief that all namings create separations that do not exist. However many of these namings create separations that are easier to believe in than the line between blue and green. One such line is between functional and non-functional ceramics... If it has no function why do we make it? What is the function of non-functional ceramics? Maybe the line between painting and ceramics is better.

Paintings are color on a surface, pigment in a liquid binder that drys. Ceramics can be seen as pigment in a binder that dries. Oil paint especially can be built up into highly textured surfaces. The work of Frank Auerbach was so thick it seems modeled like clay. Where does this sort of work draw its primary distiction from clay? Is it the pigments, many of which are ceramic, or the applicaton technique? Maybe its the binder. The separation is not very clean. At what point does it stop being paint and start being ceramic?

And what about the cave paintings in Lascaux France? These clearly were ceramics. They were ceramic pigments, earth tones, they were painted onto a ceramic substrate. There were no boards, no canvas there were probably no brushes. Just slip, maybe with a little fish oil to float it..., ceramics.

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Page last modified on September 10, 2019, at 09:23 AM