Jim Campbell had started out in film, software engineering, and in the tech world, but now his artistic projects has geared him to incorporate a lot of sound, light, and LED installations. His art works are described to “toy with the human brain,” of perception, time and memory.(1) Much of his influence comes from his own fascination with the mind and behavior in a primitive realm of hunting and survival. His body of works ponder over the resolution of digital images and how organisms, like us, are able to interpret them as something real or recognizable and the inverse effect. His most current works include Glimpse 2007, Broken Window 2010, Exploded View 2010- 2011 and many others that are showcased in prolific museums and site-specific installations.
Using tools such as a video camera, projector, and electronic sensors, Experiments in Touching Color is a part of “Memory Works,” which are a series of Campbell’s body of works from the later 1990’s. This piece, in particular, stands on a small pedestal that is placed in a dark room, with a glass screen covering the pedestal. A video projector is embedded in the interior and an image is projected onto the glass rear screen from below. Viewers are invited to place their hands on the glass screen, which allows them to interact and see the dynamic changes of the fading of an image into a color and the volume increase of sound. The color change is determined where the participants hand is placed on the image or pixel location. When participants choose to move their hands along the glass screen, the colors coorespondingly change as well. The incorporation of sound signifies the movement and direction of the hands and what and how the image is changing. This installation piece seems to develop a new sense of color perception or “imagine that they have developed a new sense. One that involves the hand and the eye.” (2) This project was concerned with rhythms and colors, which are fundamental elements in perception and comprehension. However, it was not about the isolated abstract rhythms, or abstract color fields, instead, it focuses on the association we make between a sequence of colors, images, and events. (3)
Hannes, Leopoldseder and Schopf, Christine. Cyber Arts 2000: International Compendium ARS Electronica: 2000.1967.