Every day, humans make dozens of judgements, from deciding whether our clothes match to determining whether a shady character in the street is a threat. Such decisions aren’t based on hard-and-fast rules, a new study reveals. Instead, our concept of “threat”—and even of the color “blue”—is all relative.
To make the find, researchers showed non–color-blind participants a series of 1000 dots ranging from very blue to very purple, and asked them to judge whether each dot was blue. For the first 200 trials, participants saw an equal number of dots from the blue and purple parts of the spectrum, but then the prevalence of blue dots gradually decreased to just a fraction of what it was before. By the end of the study, participants’ interpretation of the colors had changed: Dots that they had thought were purple in the first set of trials they now classified as blue, the authors report in Science. That is, their concept of the color blue had expanded to also include shades of purple.
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Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm
25 April – 03 June 2018
Edgar Cleijne & Ellen Gallagher, installation view ”Highway Gothic” (2017), Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger
The American artist Ellen Gallagher. Gallagher creates image-based installations that offer the viewer to reflect on an alternate historical writing and existence. The exhibition, Better Dimension, contains three extensive film installations in collaboration with Dutch artist Edgar Cleijne.
Highway Gothic (2017), consists of cyanotope curtains of 70 mm film and fabric as well as two 16 mm films. The installation explored how the construction of the Interstate 10 highway,, which shares both the United States largest wetland areas, the Atchafalaya Basin, and New Orleans, forced displacement and expelled people and animals in its vicinity. The title refers to a standard font used for US road signs.
Colours are important factors when we make mental maps. In Stockholm, there are three colours on the subway lines and people often say things like ” I live on the green line”. There are even songs about the different lines.
When the ruling parties in Sweden presented its new subway investment with nine new stations, there was also a big change that ended up slightly overshadowed. The Green Line to Hagsätra, which was completed in 1960, will change the routing in Gullmarsplan – and renamed the Blue Line.
People are concerned.
But one guy, Sebastian, has a different perspective :
Colours on subway lines are generally unpleasant for us who are colour blind. It’s no fun taking the ”green line” when you can not distinguish red from green. It would be better with a checkered line, for example.