Matthew Biederman’s R+G+B (B-W Phase) is a cyclical display, from black to white, of the RGB color system as a formula, where each number equals the red, green and blue values of the background. R+G+B (B-W Phase) is created as a video loop derived from Biederman’s (un)limited colors series of generative works, which he has been developing since 2008.
While the background colour may appear to slowly fade from one hue to another, each frame is in fact a unique colour which corresponds to the displayed RGB colour code. In this way the work examines colour closely, for instance questioning where blue begins and white ends, thus exploring the limits of human colour perception and our ability to resolve minute variations. In this work colour is removed from art history’s subjectivity and placed in relation to digital formulae. International Klein Blue (IKB), Vantablack and every other colour, both named and unnamed, are reduced to a set of three digits.
Through the work Biederman recalls the words from Billy Budd, Sailor by American novelist Herman Melville: “Who in the rainbow can draw the line where the violet tint ends and the orange tint begins? Distinctly we see the difference of the colors, but where exactly does the one first blindingly enter into the other? So with sanity and insanity."