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  • Color as Signal / Noise

    Carolyn L. Kane

    Chapter from the book: Kane, C. 2019. High-Tech Trash: Glitch, Noise, and Aesthetic Failure.

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    American video artist Ryan Trecartin is undeniably a “grinder and mixer of multicolor drugs,”1 as Plato put it in reference to artists in general. His fashionable use of digital media, fast-paced editing, belligerent makeup and costume, and chaotic, broken, and synthesized dialogue echo his unforgiving color juxtapositions. His work emerged in the early 2000s, during a time when the art world was embracing a trickle-down of academic trends in post-media, post-identity politics, and queer theory. Beyond these already-theorized connections to the pre-existent cultural ethos, this chapter argues that Trecartin’s work sanctions the noisy colors of a newer world of selfies, social media apps, the Internet, and automated effects plug-ins through three strategies rooted in categorical transgression (in favor of noise and ambiguity); an aesthetic category I theorize as “accidental color”; and a use of whacky stops and pauses––in the tradition of the avant-garde–– to incite subject disorientation and criticality.

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    Kane, C. 2019. Color as Signal / Noise. In: Kane, C, High-Tech Trash. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.83.d
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    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Additional Information

    Published on Dec. 17, 2019

    DOI
    https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.83.d


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