Thursday 3 October 2013
Back in 1963, Josef Albers’ book, The Interaction of Color, was published.
I have treasured this book as a teacher and as an artist, with its’ emphasis on experimental pursuit of practice before theory and its beautiful, elegant color plates. Imagine my delight (and soon to be yours) when I discovered that Yale University (where Albers taught) has created an Interaction of Color app for ipad! The even better news is that this app is even better than the book: not only does it reproduce the original text and plates but it includes an interactive element. You can now slide the colors in the plates around, view them side by side, and it will snap back to the original composition.
Interact with color
There is also a section for “my studies”, blank templates where you can create your own gorgeous color studies from an infinite range of hues and tones. No need to collect stacks of colored paper, although I do think working with paper adds a sensual, tactile quality that the screen can’t quite approximate, luscious as they are.
“Our concern is the interaction of color; that is, seeing what happens between colors.
We are able to hear a single tone.
But we almost never (that is, without special devices) see a single color unconnected and unrelated to other colors.
Colors present themselves in continuous flux, constantly related to
Changing neighbors and changing conditions.
As a consequence, this proves for the reading of color
What Kandinsky often demanded for the reading of art:
What counts is not the what but the how.”
Immerse yourself in color
Check out the app here, the reduced version of it is free!
And you can watch the trailer
This is an exciting tool for teaching about color relationships. Students can create their own color studies on the ipad and experience directly the practice of color relativity rather than just read the theory.
You could also try some old fashioned paper, scissors, glue compositions with your students. Why not experiment with both digital and handmade color studies and compare the results?
The Interaction of Color page on this site has a powerpoint slideshow and hands on color study activities for students.