On twitter today I mentioned the discovery of the book Panaesthetics by Daniel Albright. It was a buy in the end. A great discovery saddened to then learn that its author is no longer with us. Although I have not read it there will be much to draw from it: literally. I have often written about Hodges' model being initially a neutral space, a blank sheet. What is a starting position is always political as with Hodges' model. Its structure regiments the paper it is drawn upon. The presence of a political care - knowledge domain makes a statement. Structurally and in content the sense of neutrality is broken. Albright points to historical support as he discusses "What is painting?".
"White, said Superville, is an innocent peaceful color, calming us in the way that pure snow or moonlight calms. Black implies "silence and solitude, sadness, death, and oblivion"; red is "the hieroglyph of life and movement . . . the excess of luminous rays, just as the colour black is its absorption and annihilation." But this correlation of color with emotional state is less original than Superville's belief that color and lines are "the identical signs of one invariable language, and the associations of the one automatically imply the associations of the other" - every color corresponds to a linear pattern, every linear pattern presupposes a certain color. Superville provides a diagram to prove his point: red throws its arms into the air; black is stooped, submissive; "white , an invariable, pure sign, like the horizontal line, occupies the middle space between two extremes" (fig. 27)." p.102.
This is not the exact figure from the book but the meaning is relayed (I think).
A contact from the OU and 'The Difference that Makes a Difference' Conferences David Chapman kindly commented on this post on Facebook:
I've expanded on my Facebook response below:
Thanks David, Yes I realise there's a potentially racist tone to this "white as pure". It is of course about the ideas, structure and form. I still refer implicitly to Michel Serres' work and the significance of 'blanc' and in previous posts. There are many ethnocultural connotations as to how black, white, greys and colours are interpreted and what they mean. As a tool it is important that Hodges' model conveys neutrality. In this case no emotional, value-based stance is taken.
Albright, D. (2014) Panaesthetics On the Unity and Diversity of the Arts. New Haven: Yale University Press.