Eddie Pensier writes:

Jozef Stanislaus Ostoja-Kotkowski, Kronos 2 (1979), photographed without flash

The same artwork, photographed with flash.

From COLOUR MUSIC, an exhibit I attended today at the ANU’s Drill Hall Gallery, which “brings together the work of visual artists who speculate on connections between pictorial form and pitch, harmony, movement and musical notation.” I only glancingly noticed any such connection, and I normally avoid contemporary art like dental surgery, but I found this exhibit surprisingly pleasing for the most part. It wasn’t intellectual, or moving, or technically superior, but my inner five-year-old who giggles at bright colors got a big kick  out of it.

More COLOUR MUSIC pictures after the break.


John Nixon, Colour Music (2006-2010) Yeah, it’s a Clavinova with colored blocks sitting on the keyboard. Sue me, I liked it.


Cathy Blanchflower, ~7 and ~8 (2013)


Cathy Blanchflower, Aster XI (2005)


Botborg, Neural Luminance Amplifier (2014). This is one of those “installations” that normally gets me in one of my frothy moods about modern art. Three enormous video screens with a colored version of the snow you get on your television before it’s properly tuned. Accompanying this is a loud, groaning industrial noise running on endless loop which sounded startlingly like the Hypnotoad from Futurama. The main reason I even entered was the irresistible sign on the wall outside:


I haven’t got a seizure disorder, but experiencing about 40 seconds of Neural Luminance Amplifier had me worrying that I might develop one. I could feel my own neural luminance being amplified to levels beyond what my doctor usually recommends, so I left.


Unfortunately I failed to write down the title and artist of this work. It is exactly what it looks like: a turntable playing soundless “records” of bright colors. When I made my second pass through the gallery, a docent had replaced the rainbow record with the red-striped one on the far left.

Yeah, it’s kind of silly. And yeah, it made me smile. Mission accomplished.

About Eddie Pensier

Television junkie, opera buff, connoisseur of unhealthy foods, fashion watcher, art lover and admirer of beautiful people of all sexes.
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4 Responses to COLOUR MUSIC

  1. Will S. says:

    Reblogged this on Will S.' Sunny Side Blog and commented:
    I’m sort of mixed in my feelings about this kind of thing.
    On the one hand, I don’t think it’s particularly artistic or creative – maybe I’m just a philistine; oh well!
    But on the other hand, I do enjoy the mixture of colours and interesting textures, and think such wall hangings can function well as décor for an office space, despite what I said re: creativity and artistry.
    At any rate, I am glad you shared them with us, EP, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Question Lady says:

    The connection between color and sound is a mystical tradition that fascinates me and which really got going into realms of Theosophy as well as “science” in the 19th and 20th Centuries. You probably already know about Scriabin who felt there was an orgiastic relationship between color and sound? If not, here’s the wikipedia entry:

    And did you know that the French composer Olivier Messaien saw colors when he heard certain chords?

    — Polly Frost

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did know that about Messaien but not Scriabin, thanks for the link!
      Synaesthesia is a very interesting thing. I myself tend to smell “in color”. Our blog-friend Tarnished Sophia has talked about a related phenomenon: autonomous sensory meridian response, or ASMR, here.


  3. Question Lady says:

    thank you for the link to ASMR!


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