DAVID BATCHELOR — CHROMOPHOBIA — 2000
This book is surprising from the title onward, both forward and backward. No matter how you take it you are going to be both excited like hell and disappointed like standing in front of the gate of the Messianic Jerusalem. There is so little to see there. But I read it from cover to cover and I guess I am going to make a few remarks. For me “color” and “colors” are not to be debated. I have known Daltonian people who were entirely colorblind and for them, the world was nothing but a palette of grey or greys all huddled around between white light and black night. I could not even imagine it. And color is for me everywhere. In my latest dream, last night, bright green leaves were falling from I don’t know where and those who picked them up could enter some kind of a means of transportation to go home, but where is home? A long way away, like Tipperary.
No, color is not a philosophical concept despite the color revolutions that lead nowhere. Color is a physical phenomenon. “Color may be a continuum, but the continuum is continuously broken, the indivisible endlessly divided.” (page 86) Yes of course, and this continuum can be exploded by simple refraction. To negate color/colors and reject it/them is as absurd as to reject light. Colorblindness is a handicap, just like plain blindness. To reveal color and colors, you just need to refract a beam of light in a refracting prism of glass, and you can then see the continuum and the various stripes, which have no clear limits, of what we consider different colors. And I will start from there. Light is a vast band of wavelengths that vary by so little a difference from one wavelength to the next that you cannot really say you have shifted from one color to the next, at best, from one hue to another. Is one nanometer the possible change? Why should it be since this nanometer is a measurement invented by man and not naturally available in nature?
Note the limit between ultraviolet and violet is fuzzy, the same way as it is between infrared and red. This is due to the human eye. Officially ultraviolet and infrared are invisible, but they vary with various…