Fieldwork Color Analog


What Color is the Earth?

In the summer of 2014, I began foraging material color from the earth. First from the streets of Brooklyn, then from Spain, Portugal, the American West, El Salvador, rural Pennsylvania, and most recently Northern California near where I live.

At the time, I was curious to understand more about how color informs our relationship to place. As I collected, I became aware of how much of our experience of the built and designed world is mediated through chemical color.

While synthetic color is a relatively recent, modern invention — one that happened in 1856 with the discovery of Mauve — indigenous communities have been processing, trading, and using material pigment for practical and ritual uses for at least 100,000 years.

I’ve since gathered and distilled over 50 pigments.

This project, like pigment itself, has stubbornly resisted form and instead has lead me along a mercurial path toward new people, new places, and new ideas. These inquiries into material color have included:

The work is ongoing and delightfully unresolved.