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Simon Payne: Color Field Videos

January 19, 2013 – April 28, 2013


Since 2004, British video artist Simon Payne has made digital works that investigate the interplay of color, movement, and abstract form. Time-based and digitally driven, his works playfully explore the aesthetics of color mixing and the complex perceptual phenomena colors can produce. Five of Payne’s short videos will be on view in MMoCA’s New Media Gallery.

By coupling a limited color palette of red, blue, yellow, cyan, green, magenta, black, and white—the primary and secondary colors that constitute the standard color bars of a TV test signal—with sequenced flickering of simple geometric forms, Payne creates the illusion of weaving motion and infinite color combinations. Although the artist’s fixed palette limits the number of colors that are actually present on screen, the rapid editing of his videos has an effect on viewers’ visual consciousness and perception of color. The result is a psycho-visual experience in which the number of perceived color possibilities is impossible to quantify.

About Simon Payne

Simon Payne studied Time Based Media at the Kent Institute of Art and received a PhD from the Royal College of Art in 2008. His work has been shown in numerous festivals and venues including the Anthology Film Archives, New York; the Rotterdam International Film Festival; the Pacific Film Archives, San Francisco; and Tate Modern for whom he also curated Color Field Films and Videos in 2008. Payne is Senior Lecturer in Film and Media Studies at Anglia Ruskin University, and lives in London.