Stephen Cornford


  RGB (Retinally Governed Behaviours) (2019)

Co-commissioned by Coventry Biennial and the University of Warwick’s AHRC funded Projection Project, in this kinetic video components from both DLP and LCD projectors act both as the subject of the work and as filters that refract, reflect and re-project their own images onto the surrounding walls. Optical devices normally used to combine colours and whose operation remains imperceptible to its viewers are here externalised and slowed down, actively disrupting and redistributing the projected image.

The work can be seen as applying the experimental traditions of the late twentieth century film and video practice to contemporary, digital tools and aims to break down some of the conservatisms of current video art. The work deliberately refuses to resolve from a single viewpoint, insisting on a mobile observer. It also eschews pre-recorded material and is instead constructed entirely from live video feeds of kinetic objects within the space.

The project stemmed from research into the technics of digital light processing (DLP) projectors, noting the similarity between their colour filters and the colour wheel devised by James Clerk Maxwell to prove the trichromatic theory of visual perception. The dissolution of biological sight into its component colours was diagnosed by an identical mechanism that now resolves those colours for us in the projected image.