What gas is used to make the neon lights in "276. (On Color Blue)" glow blue?
That piece was manufactured by Chris Freeman Design, the fabricator who makes all of Kosuth's neon works. The work is made up of 8mm tubing, single stroke and the color is horision blue. The tubing itself is clear glass coated with phosphor and contains argon gas and mercury.
Welcome to "Infinite Blue" and Joseph Kosuth's "276. (On Color Blue)"! This work from 1990 helps to set the stage for the rest of the exhibition that you’re about to see. Kosuth is a conceptual artist. He encourages us to think about language, using "blue" as an example. Blue can mean different things to different people. Language can be imprecise and sometimes arbitrary.
This work is made of 13 sections of neon tubing and its color is called "horison blue."
The quote comes from the writing of Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose philosophy questioned the relationship between language and meaning. It's an interesting introduction to this show, because you'll see how the color blue has so many different meanings and values depending on culture, time, function, and more.
I love this! How long did it take the artist?
This work was actually produced by Chris Freeman Design for Joseph Kosuth, based on his design! The practice of having an artist’s idea executed by someone else, usually an expert in fabrication, is a significant aspect of what we call Conceptual art.
Because it is a neon sign, it is produced like any other, despite the sculptural nature of the piece. Large neon signs like this can take around 10 weeks to make!
I was just wondering what exactly this means?
This work is based on the writings of Ludwig Wittgenstein, which were all about interpretation, perception, and language. Wittgenstein believed that language was imprecise, meaning different things to different people.
The artist of this piece, Joseph Kosuth, built his entire practice on working with meaning, believing that meaning is the primary material that an artist works with. In this piece the text projects a beautiful blue color on the walls and surrounding viewers, but everyone who looks at it will see a slightly different color.
The text is alluding to this idea about color more generally. The idea
that when one thinks of the color blue, it conjures a myriad of shades, meanings, and memories in the mind's eye. There is really no one singular, exact meaning.
So you're say that everyone who views this will see something different? Interesting.
The quote by Wittgenstein is alluding to his belief that there are no rigid definitions of words and trying to pin down the 'meaning of a word,' misleads us into thinking that words have fixed definitions. He believed that language was fluid, and that meaning and perception are different to different people, able to change over time.
So everyone who sees it will be seeing it and interpreting it in a slightly different way, yes. It's a perfect introduction to the way blue has been used through time and place and across cultures, isn't it?
Are there any other colors that can do something similar?
Sure, take the color red for example. You could examine how different people utilized, valued, and symbolically related to the color. The use of ochre pigment in the Upper Paleolithic, coral among Native American Indian populations, and red colored gems in the near east are a few examples of this.
I would like to know more about this artwork please.
Lots of people do! A few people have asked recently how this qualifies as visual art when it's just words. You have to take into consideration that these words have been reproduced in sculptural material.
And that by producing this blue light they create a whole experience that impacts they way that you interpret what they say!
On a page, in black and white, this musing could be about any color, but Kosuth has illustrated that it is about the color blue.
What does 276 mean?
Kosuth based his work on Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein which was published in 1953. The volume was composed of 693 numbered paragraphs which examine the topic of language and its ability to create meaning. This was paragraph 276.
The passage come from Wittgenstein's ruminations on color. Namely, how the words we use to designate colors are imprecise.
Mas información por favor.
Esta obra ilumina un extracto de un texto escrito por el filósofo Ludwig Wittgenstein. El extracto explora la imprecisión del lenguaje. Específicamente, como las palabras que usamos para describir colores son imprecisas.
Cuando alguien dice “azul,” no se refiere a un color exacto. Mas bien, cada persona genera un imagen diferente en su mente. Es una excelente introduciòn a la exposición Infinite Blue, que reúne objetos azules de diferentes culturas a través del tiempo y espacio.
Tell me more.
In this work by Joseph Kosuth, he illuminates a passage from philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations in neon blue. Wittgenstein's work examines the topic of language and its ability to create meaning and this paragraph comes from his ruminations on color specifically. The passage explores the idea that the words we use to refer to colors have no fixed meaning although we'd like to think they do. The choice Kosuth has made to illuminate the passage this way makes us think of the way blue means slightly different things to different people.
Has this installation been on non-stop since 1993, and how much of it has been swapped out or been upgraded? Is it expected to eventually stop working?
That's an important thing to think about! It has not been on constantly for 25 years. It is only on when it is on view, and even then sometimes it is turned off at night.
For the installation in Infinite Blue, the transformers and part of the tubing were replaced. My understanding is that it will be maintained as long as the parts are still available -- neon requires more maintenance than one would think!