Macarena Rioseco Castillo

Universidad Metropolitana Ciencias de la Educación (UMCE) – Santiago, Chile

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Hard Edges (2016)

Rainbow (2016)

Bichromes (2016)

Title / Titre: Fractals: Chromatic Continuum – a group of 8 paintings in total composed by Hard Edges, Rainbow and Bichromes (6 paintings)
Dimensions: 100x100cm (each)
Year: 2016
Technique: Oil on Canvas

Despite that Deleuze and Guattari are aligned to non-discursive arts, meaning that, art ‘requires a semiotic of the affect that is not reducible to the discursive’ (Sauvagnargues 2013, p.18-19), their model has been essential in the evolution of my practice and for making the motives behind it accessible to others. Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas strongly inspire my work, but I also argue that my paintings resonate on a material and visual level with some of their ideas. For example, the group of paintings presented for this call, Fractals: Chromatic Continuum, were constructed inspired on Deleuzoguattarian ‘virtual continuum’ (DeLanda 2002, p.69).
I imagined these paintings while reading DeLanda’s discussion on this concept. Since I constantly think in pictorial terms, I could not help but to think of the continuity of the chromatic spectrum while reading about the virtual continuum. DeLanda describes that every natural structure forms a continuum of many differentiated structures tightly connected to each other. We perceive limits from a distance, but physically those limits do not actually exist. For example, the colour spectrum is a continuum, which can be differentiated in different colours (primary, secondary and tertiary). We see these colours, but as a light wave spectrum, in their differentiation the limits between them are not clear or concrete.

Fractals: Chromatic Continuum presents three different scales of magnification of the degradation of a continuous colour spectrum with mixtures connecting the three primary colours. Hence, overall this group of paintings displays three complete colour wheels. The pictorial spaces are divided in many smaller spaces, each of them filled by one monochrome brushstroke, and for that reason, they compose multiplicities of brushstrokes. To go deeper on these works, I will now cite DeLanda (ibid., pp. 69-70 – emphasis in original) adding my ideas [in brackets]: ‘‘[These paintings compose a chromatic …] continuum which yields, through progressive differentiation, all the discontinuous individuals [i.e., each tone] that populate the actual [chromatic] world [i.e., the colour wheel, …] this virtual continuum cannot be conceived as a single, homogeneous topological space, but rather as a heterogeneous space made out of a population of multiplicities, each of which is a topological space on its own. The virtual continuum would be, as it were, a space of spaces, with each of its component spaces having the capacity of progressive differentiation. Beside this multiplication of spaces, we need a way of meshing these together into a heterogeneous whole. Deleuze, in fact, refers to the virtual continuum as a plane ofconsistency, using the term ‘consistency’ in a unique sense […] as the synthesis of heterogeneities as such.’’

In Bichromes, the use of same tones for finishing one painting and beginning with the next one connects all these six works. The colour progression of mixtures in these paintings goes from red, to yellow, to blue and back again to red, and it is developed subtly, at broken stages, organized in a fractal rule of combination and presenting only one recursion of the chromatic continuum. The colour degradation in this group is not perceptible when looked at in detail, but when a larger distance is taken this passage between colours clearly appears.

In Rainbow the same transition, organization and one recursion of mixtures between primary colours is done in only one painting, hence, it is made in fewer stages, and the degradation is more abrupt and obvious. Whereas, in Hard Edges the degradation is organized in the same rule of fractal combination, but only produced between primary and secondary colours. Therefore, the recursion of the continuum between colours in this work is produced many times in the same painting. These three works as wholes create three planes of consistencies, that is, continuous and multiple heterogeneous spaces of smaller differentiated monochromatic spaces. In these works, the chromatic spectrum is ‘meshed together into a continuum […] creating zones of indiscernibility where they blend into each other, forming a continuous immanent space’ (ibid., p.22 – emphasis in original).

References :

DeLanda, Manuel (2002) Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy. Reprint, London: Continuum.

Sauvagnargues, A. (2013) Deleuze and Art. Translated by Samantha Bankston, London: Bloomsbury Academic.