Seen and Unseen
Kidult’s huge tags—he uses fire extinguishers as spray paint cans—across the storefronts of expensive brands like Agnés B. and Colette protest their use of graffiti-style designs on their expensive products. These tags triumphantly reclaim graffiti as a purely political act, and not simply a visual trope. In an interview with Highsnobiety, Kidult asserted that graffiti is destructive and illegal, and essentially so: “If graffiti becomes legal, I’ll stop.” He sees the visual motifs of graffiti as indivisible from their history of individual action and rebellion. Kidult’s strict sense of artistic ownership stands in contrast to the anarchic freedom of his medium—and in fact he borrows from the visual language of fashion magazines in his posters, if only to twist them into the grotesque.
Kentridge had a revelation when he discovered that each and every spot of sunlight in his studio, including the irregular patches that had filtered through leaves, had its own red crescent—for 65 patches of light, there were 65 differently contoured crescents. Of course, he knew that anyone in Johannesburg with a paper viewer would see the same effect. But the unexpected manifestation of this omnipresence in his studio set Kentridge on a flight of realization about the endless proliferation of views and angles and projections that each object we encounter implicitly offers to the world.
Computer screens can display even less of the full range of the color spectrum. Our screens’ colors are all the result of combinations of a certain red, a certain blue, and a certain green light—a small triangle on the irregular parabola of visible colors. Computers do a slightly better job with shades on the red end of the spectrum, but there is a deep range of blues and greens that computers cannot display.
I remember being skeptical of this system as a 12 year-old—was Nesbit trying to make a joke at the expense of her “little” readers? But over the years, I discovered that if I thought concertedly about the time I needed to get up the following morning, I often woke up a few minutes before my alarm clock, no matter how irregular the hours I was keeping. Apparently, you can will yourself into waking up when you need to, along with the proven facts that you can will yourself into a better mood by smiling, and that you can will yourself into believing a placebo will help you even when you know it’s a placebo. I also think that you can will yourself into finding the exact piece of art that you’ve been looking for, knowingly or not.